Monday, August 25, 2014

just started:Lisa Appignanesi's Paris Requiem,i also read Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors,by her...

PW Reviews 2013 November #1
At the outset of this atmospheric, if overly long and sometimes ponderous mystery set in 1899 from British author Appignanesi (Sanctuary), widowed professor of law James Norton leaves his Boston home for Paris, intending to untangle his journalist brother, Rafael, from Olympe Fabre, an actress. On arrival, he finds Paris battling over the aftermath of the Dreyfus case; his sister, Ellie, sinking into mysterious invalidism; and Olympe missing. Soon, Olympe turns up dead. With Raf under suspicion, James feels compelled to investigate. Several other women have died in similar circumstances; are the deaths suicides, crimes of passion, or displays of anti-Semitism? As he questions Olympe's father, benefactress, and former admirers, James heals from his own losses, but not before uncovering secrets that change his family forever. Appignanesi's knowledge of the politics and culture of the era shines. Scenes set in the Salpêtrière Hospital, where Olympe's mentally ill sister is confined, are especially vivid. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates (U.K.). (Jan.)
[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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