Review: Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor
I've read quite a number of books this year, but THIS one is by far the best. Everything about this 1st
book in a new mystery series by Mark Pryor is so good. The dialogue is real, the setting (Nazi occupied
Paris 1940) suits my historical fiction addiction and every page has a new and unexpected turn of
Inspector Henri Lefort has been given five days to solve the murder of a German officer whose body was
found inside the Louvre Museum. Lefort has been denied access to the scene of the crime and the
murder weapon but has been given a list of five suspects all of whom are French citizens. Smart, witty,
sarcastic and cynical Lefort and his assistant Nicola begin the impossible task of finding a murderer in
time to save his own life. Henri and Nicola understand the consequences to Henri if he does not solve
this crime in five days.
As Henri begins his inteviewing of those on the German suspect list he meets and interviews Pablo
Picasso among others who know more than they are willing to share. As he walks the streets of his
beloved Paris and his search for a murderer continues he knows he is being followed and one misstep
could land him in a German concentration camp or worse because Henri has his own secrets.
Those secrets and his memories of another war and this occupation of Paris and this war is exacerbating
his PTSD. When he meets Princess Marie Bonapart at the scene of a robbery in her home, she sees
beneath his jaded and sarcastic demeanor and encourages Henri (with a promise of a bottle of Chateau
Petrus at each session) to undergo psychological couseling. As his own story unfolds and he shares his
long supressed secrets with the Princess, the murder of the German officer and his past converge in a
most unexpected turn of events.
This newest book by Mark Pryor has characters that are truly engaging, witty dialogue that made me
smile, descriptions of Paris that brought back sweet memories and encounters with the enemy that
caused me to pause and think. I look forward to the other books in this series and to more adventures
with Inspector Henri Lefort and his assistant Nicola and perhaps Picasso and Princess Bonaparte will
also make appearances. We shall see.