And of course Claire’s salon where she curls up with adorable Izzy and her laptop when she needs to really buckle down to solve those mysteries.
From an author’s perspective: Some things I’ve noticed this trip is that everyone is glued to their smart phones–even the old people. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I have to admit to loving having GPS capability. (Plus I look less like a tourist when I’m not all wrapped up in maps.)
One of the things I researched for on my 7th Maggie Newberry book which takes place in the Latin Quarter is the attention paid to the amazing Haussmann-Style buildings that helped redefine Paris as such an elegant, beautiful city. In that book I had four major domiciles in Paris that each had to be visited and researched. First there’s Grace’s rented apartment on the Left Bank. Very elegant and more expensive than she needs–hinting at the fact that she’s making some poor choices lately. Then there’s Laurent’s great Aunt Delphine who’s in a gorgeous older apartment in the Latin Quarter and where much of the action takes place (not to mention murder!)
After that there’s the apartment where Laurent and his brother Gerard (you remember him, don’t you?) grew up–likewise in the Latin Quarter but not near any of the nice parts. Finally, there’s the apartment building where Delphine lived with her two sisters and her parents during the war when Paris was occupied by the Germans. This building isn’t as elegant as where she is now but it’s sturdily middle-class and, bien sûr, still classic Haussmann.
These buildings, because they are so quintessentially Parisian, are perfect for a mystery that begins during one of the darkest periods of the city’s history. If this had happened in the States, all of the buildings would have been ripped down decades ago with no clue to hint at their history. But because it’s Paris, even today you can walk up the well-worn steps of the narrow stairwells–seventy years after the war–touch the ancient banisters and rough stone walls, and clearly hear the sound of Nazi jackboots on the steps right behind you…