The Paris Affair by Susanne Dunlap
Apparently, false rumors about Marie Antoinette are all the fashion in 1783.
Marie Antoinette is facing hostility from the populace, inflamed by rumors circulated in pamphlets throughout Paris. The rumors claim that she has dozens of lovers, drinks the blood of poor people, holds satanic masses at Versailles, and more, when nothing could be further from the truth. On the advice of the handsome, enigmatic Captain von Bauer, Joseph II--emperor of Austria and Marie Antoinette's brother--decides that mystery-solving violinist Theresa Schurman is the ideal candidate for a spy to discover the source of these vile slanders.
Theresa is only too glad to get away from Vienna for a while, unwilling to commit herself yet to marrying Zoltan--a Hungarian baron she met when she was fifteen--and running out of reasons to postpone her decision. She is eager, too, to explore a new musical scene and broaden her artistic education. But when the captain confounds her expectations and places her as a bookkeeper in the establishment of Rose Bertin, milliner to the queen, she begins to lose hope that she will ever achieve her musical aims--or the emperor's goal of exposing the pamphleteers.
A chance encounter with the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an extraordinary black violinist and expert swordsman, sets Theresa on the path to unraveling the mystery. But will the chevalier's patron, the powerful duc de Chartres, confound her efforts and put her--and the captain's--lives in danger?
Be prepared for music, mystery, love, and murder in this riveting tale of pre-revolutionary Paris.
"The settings and situations are enchanting and varied; Dunlap is adept at on-the-fly description and at lacing intrigue with romance...Dunlap proves an arresting tour guide through this rich milieu, summoning up the past without slowing down the storytelling. Author and protagonist alike boast an epigrammatic wit. The touch is light, but the scenery and chatter are sumptuous...Theresa stands as a fascinating protagonist, a woman whose nimble navigation of society's expectations and several burgeoning romances are exciting and inspiring, even more so than the sleuthing that drives the novel's plot. The people she encounters are likewise memorable, complex, and surprising, especially the chevalier...This sparkling historical mystery conjures up the salons, fashion, and gossip of Marie Antoinette's Paris, with a winning emphasis on the power of music and the roles that society allowed women." - The BookLife Prize
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Thus begins The Paris Affair, the third book in Susanne Dunlap's Theresa Shurmann mystery series.
When Emperor Joseph II summons Theresa to his office Theresa is unsure of why she is there. The last case she worked on helped save the Emperor's life but she isn't there to be thanked. She is being asked to go to Paris to investigate the rumors being spread about his sister, Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She isn't keen on going but you don't say no to an Emperor. She is to work with Captain von Bauer, whom she had worked with before on a previous case. They have a bit of a love/hate thing going on, but the Captain and Emperor trust her and think she will be able to ingratiate herself into the world around the Queen to try and find out who is spreading the rumors. It's a tough job though because Marie Antoinette has enemies within and outside the Palace walls. She is assigned to be a bookkeeper for the Queen's milliner and she is to stay at a whorehouse while there. The madam at the whorehouse is an agent of the Austrian government and teaches Theresa about the families and connections at court.
The sounds, sights, and smells (both good and bad) of Paris are brought to life with Dunlap's masterful writing. Though I hadn't read the first two books in the series the Author touches back on past relationships and events so that you aren't lost.
While I adored Theresa, the secondary characters are wonderful too - especially Chevalier de Saint-Georges. There is a little something for everyone in this book - danger, mystery, intrigue, history, romance. I found it to be an extremely fun read and can't wait to go back and read the first two books in the series. I can't wait to see how this all started! Highly recommended!
About the Author
In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.
For more information, please visit Susanne Dunlap's website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and BookBub.
Blog Tour ScheduleWednesday, September 30
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary
Thursday, October 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, October 2
Feature at I'm Into Books
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Monday, October 5
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Tuesday, October 6
Review at YA, It's Lit
Wednesday, October 7
Review at Amy's Booket List
Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, October 8
Excerpt at Turn The Page
Friday, October 9
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder
Sunday, October 11
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Monday, October 12
Review at Nursebookie
Tuesday, October 13
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Wednesday, October 14
Review at Book Bustle
Thursday, October 15
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Friday, October 16
Review at Passages to the Past
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour, one lucky reader will win signed copies of all 3 books in the Theresa Schurmann Mystery series! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
The Paris Affair