In spring, is there anywhere more seductive than France? In case you're itching for some armchair travel, here are links with something to fill any francophile crime fan with joie de vivre:
Looking for a simply huge list of reading recommendations? From different styles and eras, here's an assortment of thirty different books set in France. Tres magnifique!
Michael Nethercott invites you to enjoy the “easy poetry” of prolific Hall of Fame author Georges Simenon and his most famous creation, Police Inspector Jules Maigret, who “always seemed to find multiple occasions to slip into the nearest bar or bistro for a small beer or wine or apéritif…”
(Okay, it's not trans-continental, but you'll get both French and crime if you join in the re-read of Still Life. In Book 1 of Louise Penny's series, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal.)
As the setting for so many wonderful historicals, you might have to stretch springtime into the summer to read them all, but you can savor the Jazz Age in The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King, and delve into the unusual true crime featuring a serial killer in Nazi-occupied Paris with Death in the City of Light by David King.
Explore with Peggy Ehrhart some of the Poe-inspired (?), Dupin-like characteristics of author Fred Vargas's unconventional and award-winning Parisian Commissaire Adamsberg. And join her again to discuss the sexy female sleuth of Confidentially Yours (1983), François Truffaut’s Vivement Dimanche!, (or “Finally Sunday” in the original), his last film, made in homage to Hitchcock.
What about that very French category, noir? Perhaps you'd like to hear from Jake Hinkson about France's own “Scarface,” the criminal Mesrine, whose life inspired the film by Jean-François Richet. Maybe you share rapport with Brian Greene about how bleak existentialism meets grisly crime in the novels of Pascal Garnier. You can trip your life away in the modern, decadent Paris club scene in the thriller Good as Gone by Douglas Corleone.
This is only a soupçon of great French-inflected crime stories, but it should be enough to romance a lover of the form through a first wheel of brie and bottle of chardonnay…
A votre sante! (To your health!)