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The Paris Winter [Kindle Edition]

Imogen Robertson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Imogen Robertson's break-out novel - a deep, dark and opulent tale of Belle Époque Paris, and the secrets and dangers hidden beneath its luxurious facade. Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Académie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Époque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.

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A charming, fast-paced thriller (People magazine)

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Book Description

This will do for Imogen Robertson what Winter in Madrid did for CJ Sansom: break her out with a brand-new stand alone, introducing her to new readers who will also discover her fanatastic historical thriller series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 692 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0755390113
  • Publisher: Review (11 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ABLJ4C8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #139,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I grew up in Darlington in the North East of England, studied Russian and German at Cambridge and spent a year in Russia in a city called Voronezh during the early nineties. Lots of vodka, lots of falling over in the snow.
Before I started writing full-time I used to direct children's television, film and radio. There is less sticky paper and glitter in my life now. Shame. I decided to try and make a career out of writing after I won the Telegraph's 'First thousand words of a novel' competition in 2007 with the opening scene of Instruments of Darkness, my first book. 
I've written six novels; five in the Georgian Westerman and Crowther series and a standalone, Paris Winter. Paris Winter, Island of Bones and Theft of Life have been shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Historical Dagger. I also play the cello and spend a lot of time staring out of my window in Bermondsey, South London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The darker side of La Belle Epoque 2 Mar. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a huge fan of Imogen Robertson's Crowther & Westerman historical mysteries, so was a little apprehensive when I learned that her latest book was a departure from the series. I needn't have worried though, I enjoyed it just as much.

The Paris Winter is set as the city is enjoying La Belle Epoque and the streets are awash with art and culture. Into this dazzlingly beautiful world comes a respectable but impoverished young Englishwoman, Maud Heighton. A talented portraitist, Maud hopes that studying in Paris will bring her the recognition and respect she failed to earn from her fractured and stuffy family back in Darlington. Maud's fellow students are a glamorous and exciting crowd, including a Russian socialite and an artists' model. However, Maud struggles to make ends meet let alone compete with their profligate lifestyles, and so she jumps at the chance to take paid work as a companion to a young Frenchwoman, Sylvie Morel. At first life with Sylvie and her protective older brother Christian seems idyllic, but before long the cracks start to show.

Up to this point I was enjoying the story very much but can't say I was gripped by it, however once the twist is revealed and events take a decidedly seedier turn I was enthralled by a dark tale of opium addiction, stolen jewels, murder and madness. The streets of early 20th century Paris come alive in all their glamorous but debauched glory and the cast of characters surrounding Maud is rich and vibrant, with real life notables such as Gertrude Stein, Susan Valadon and Modigliani making cameo appearances (or at least getting a name check). As a result of her terrible experiences Maud herself develops from quite a mousy girl into a driven and dangerous woman.

Much as I love the Crowther & Westerman series and am eagerly awaiting the next instalment, I'm also really pleased that Imogen Robertson has written such a captivating and promising stand-alone novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson 29 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Paris Winter is set in the French Capital in 1909/10 - the time of the city's devastating floods. A young Englishwoman, Maud, has come to Paris to study art. To supplment her meagre income, Maud takes on the post of lady-companion to Christian Morel's invalid sister Sylvie. But treachery and skullduggery soon follow, and then, as the floodwaters creep across the city, revenge.

The Paris Winter is a beautifully written novel, with crisp, flowing prose and a sedate pace. There's a wonderful atmosphere of Belle Epoch Paris and the artists' milieu. I really loved Maud as a character - I wanted to know all about her right from the start. Robertson gets the characters of Morel and Sylvie spot on too. There is a subtle feminist angle - making a career of art is one of the few (semi) respectable options available to a woman at this date if she does not care for marriage and children.

The plot is not as imaginative as it could have been, however. There are no real twists or surprises. Some of the other characters like Yvette and Tanya are less interesting and tend to get in the way of what story there is. There are some loose threads in the plot, too. Perhaps, though, this was deliberate as the book is leaning towards literary historical fiction. Worth a read? Absolutely. But not a page turner.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paris Winter 5 Mar. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in Paris in 1909, this is a gripping historical novel. Maud Heighton is a young Englishwoman who is studying art at the Academie Lafond. The novel opens when a fellow student kills herself and it is not long before we realise that genteel Maud is also suffering the effects of poverty and starvation. Through another student, Maud is introduced to someone who helps place struggling women in paid work and gratefully accepts the offer to be companion to the sickly young Miss Sylvie, who lives with her brother Christian Morel. It seems too good to be true - paid work which does not interfere with her studies, a warm, comfortable room and good food. Although the beginning of this novel is a little slow in places, it is necessary to introduce the characters and set the scene for the darker half of the novel. For things are not what they seem and, when tragedy befalls Maud, she is intent on revenge.

This is a novel which is hard to describe without spoiling the plot and I obviously have no wish to do that. Suffice it to say that this is a novel about Maud Heighton herself and her friends; her fellow student, the wealthy Russian aristocrat Tanya, and the life model Yvette. It is a tale of madness, opium, theft and fraud, deception and the real fear of poverty. If you have never read anything by Imogen Robertson before, I am sure that this book will make you an instant fan. It is full of atmosphere, great characters, a storyline full of intrigue and a plot full of twists and turns. This is a really satisfying read and a book to savour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 3 Mar. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I must admit that this is the first Imogen Robertson novel that I have read, and it is quite impressive. From the opening of this and the mention of a suicide you know that this is going to be a somewhat dark read. Set over the winter of 1909-10 in Paris this also takes in the flooding that occurred in the city and surrounding area in 1910.

Against the backdrop of the Belle Époque, Maud Heighton is determined to make her way as an artist, along with other women studying at Lafond's Academie. Indeed the women at the Academie can be seen as a juxtaposition of society, with the haves and have-nots in close proximity, and all getting along.

As winter approaches one of the women at the art class decides to try and help Maud by making sure she has enough food and is warm through the colder months. Via the help of a friend Maud is found a place with a brother and sister, the Morels, as a part-time companion for the sister. Being paid well, eating good food, and residing in clean and warm lodgings it seems as if Maud has landed on her feet. But as time shows, not all things are what they seem.

Taking in grifting, murder, greed, and the hypocrisy of society Maud soon starts to realise what is going on around her, but is it too late? With good friends though, perhaps help may be at hand - hopefully. With obsession, revenge and madness added to the brew this is a relatively fast paced tale that is full of adventure and cunning. Don't be put off by the beginning of this which is a bit slow and brooding, gradually the story picks up pace as it races to the final conclusion.

All in all this is a greatly entertaining read that should keep you hooked until the very end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Ms. Cheryl Corney
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving
I love her books, but they needed an injection of something new and the change of location did the trick
Published 4 months ago by Jo
3.0 out of 5 stars The descriptions of the artists and paintings were excellent.
Transported me to a Paris of the past. The descriptions of the artists and paintings were excellent.
Published 4 months ago by ian taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars very good.
Once involved with story, very good .
Published 7 months ago by Pauline Medcroft
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read. History with mystery. A great combination.
Published 7 months ago by SusieW
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilly Winter indeed!
evocative of the era and the agonies the characters were going through - the good and the bad ones!
Published 8 months ago by G. Schofield
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read, found myself totally immersed in the characters.
Published 8 months ago by Anne Gannon
4.0 out of 5 stars QUITE A THRILLER!
A slow moving start that almost made me give up, thankfully I didn't! There was an undercurrent that something was amiss and suddenly a story that seemed to be dragging came to a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by little lady blue
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
I started off thinking this was going to be a sort of coming of age in 19th century Paris (which would have been fine) but it tuned into a richly engrossing Gothic thriller. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Susan Purkiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Our main character raises many emotions for the reader as she copes...
The Paris Winter was the first Imogen Robertson book that I have read and let me quickly say that I will be looking for more of her
novels. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Blue Moon
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