Book Review: Death at the Paris Exposition by Frances McNamara (Emily Cabot Mysteries #6)

DPE final front coverSynopsis: Emily Cabot travels to Paris with “The Queen of Chicago” Bertha Palmer to attend the Paris Exposition of 1900. While in Paris, they come upon a ring of jewel thieves and Emily stumbles across a dead body. Will Emily solve the case of the stolen jewels and solve the murder?

*** I was given this book as an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.***

Review: This was an enchanting, relaxing mystery to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Death at the Paris Exposition is book #6 in the Emily Cabot Mysteries series. I have to honestly say that before the author, Frances McNamara, contacted me to review this book, I hadn’t ever heard of this series before. I was slightly apprehensive about reading this book, as intriguing as the synopsis sounded, because I typically only will read books of a series in order, and I hadn’t read books 1-5 yet. But, I was intrigued enough to give this book a try, and I’m really glad that I did! And you don’t have to have read the previous books to understand the characters and what is going on (whew!).

Emily Cabot is a married woman who lives in Chicago and lectures at the University of Chicago. In this book, she ends up traveling to Paris to attend the Paris Exposition of 1900. First off, let me say that the setting of 1900 Paris was absolutely enchanting. If there was a time machine, I’d love to travel back to that time to see the displays, see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, see the first Ferris Wheel, and the Palace of Electricity.

Besides the setting of the Exposition, Bertha Palmer and Emily go to the House of Worth, and the descriptions of the gowns were gorgeous. There were so many beautiful descriptions of the clothes, that I had to go online and look up pictures of the House of Worth clothing, and oh.my.word. Gorgeous! And so intricate and breathtaking. At the end of the book, in the afterword, Frances McNamara mentions her Pinterest page, and I highly recommend that you click on that link and spend some time perusing the pictures Frances has compiled. If those pictures interest you, you will most definitely want to read Death at the Paris Exposition.

The setting and the research involved was very well done. Real life characters come to life, from Bertha Palmer, “The Queen of Chicago”, to artists Mary Cassatt and Degas, to designers Jean-Philippe Worth and Paul Poiret, to art gallery owner Paul Durand-Ruel. There is even an appearance by Consuelo Vanderbilt. These real life characters were sprinkled throughout the book, and were a lot of fun.

In terms of the mystery, it interested me and kept me guessing, but I do have to say that Death at the Paris Exposition felt more relaxed than other mysteries I’ve read. There wasn’t really any urgency on Emily’s part in solving the crimes of theft and murder, and while this slowed the pace down, I was more than content to wander the streets of Paris with Emily, so the slow pace didn’t bother me.

In regards to characters, Emily Cabot is a capable heroine, and she was refreshing to read, especially for me since I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately. It was nice to read about a smart, strong woman, who loves her family, and wants to do the right thing. I do think her personality may shine more in previous installments of the series, just a hunch I have. By book six it is presumed that we already know Emily, and know her strengths and weaknesses, and I would really like to read the other books in the series to know more about her. There is also mention of a Detective Whitbread back in Chicago, and I’d really like to meet him, so, I’m adding the rest of the books in this series to my TBR.

The other characters are great fun, from the strong Bertha Palmer, to the titled English and Russians, and the American women searching for husbands.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries, and anyone interested in 1900s fashion, Paris, and art. If you want to learn while you read, and don’t mind a book that takes its time, then you’ll probably really enjoy this.

Bottom Line: An enchanting and relaxing historical mystery. I rated this 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Links to Death at the Paris Exposition  Goodreads and Amazon

Links to Death at the Fair, book one in the Emily Cabot Mysteries series Goodreads  and   Amazon

And don’t forget to check out Frances McNamara’s Pinterest page here !

 *** I was given this book as an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.***

Does this sound like a good book and good mystery series? Are you intrigued? Are you interested in strolling the streets of Paris? Are you glad women don’t wear corsets any longer?

 


11 thoughts on “Book Review: Death at the Paris Exposition by Frances McNamara (Emily Cabot Mysteries #6)

  1. That’s near that the author ties in images. I thought books would be much more interactive, digitally, than they are. Publishers just won’t take the risk. Imagine if you read the e-book of this and you could click in the text to see images of the dresses and hear music from the expo or voices of crowds and laughter. TOTAL immersion. We have the technology, but not the willingness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that would be really neat! But then I guess it would take away from the actual book itself, which is always my problem when I read historical books. I start looking things up online and next thing I know I’ve wasted my reading time by being on the internet. The Pinterest page the author has is really cool, in that she has captions on some of the photos so once you know the characters, you can tell where she got her inspiration from. The House of Worth dresses are jaw-dropping in detail. Just so stunning – I can’t even imagine how it would feel to wear one of those!
      I think I’ve heard of some ebooks using music? But I can’t remember which ones they were – I think I saw another blogger mention it at one point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did an MFA program that has faculty who are into experimental stuff, especially with technology. People are writing books with hyperlinks, images, sounds (not just music, but background noise). It’s awesome stuff, but publishers would have to take the risk.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s really great idea! I’m someone who would be interested to read a book in that format, but I wouldn’t want every book I read to be that way. Background noise would be a really cool addition I think. To hear horses clip-clopping along cobblestones, or hear rain in the background, or the wind blowing would really add to the experience of reading!

          Liked by 1 person

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