The beauty of the SMSA Library is that it stocks a mystery writer’s complete works. Very few libraries hold complete sets of one author. Thus, a reader can discover a new author amongst the stacks and devour all of his books sequentially. The downside is then having to wait a year for that (living) author to write the next instalment! The Paris Librarian, by Mark Pryor, is book six in the Hugo Marston series and is worth the wait. The author has continued to deliver a fine, entertaining novel set in present day Paris featuring Hugo who is the Head of Security at the American Embassy. Part of his brief is to assist the local police with any murder or crime involving an American citizen. He is also a bibliophile, taking advantage of his Paris tenure with access to all of that city’s second hand booksellers.
The subject of The Paris Librarian’s title is a librarian at the American Library. One moment he’s telling Hugo about a signed first edition for sale, the next Hugo finds him dead in the basement of the library. One death is accidental, two is co-incidental and three begins a police investigation involving a side trip to Dieppe.
This series is a wonderful mix of good entertaining writing, set in a marvellous city still uncovering its post WWII secrets, rare books and murder.