Blog Book Tour | “Death at the Paris Exposition” (Book No.6 of the Emily Cabot Mysteries) by Frances McNamara Better known as the new Cosy Historical Mystery series Jorie cannot wait to read in full!

Posted Friday, 9 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Death at the Paris Exposition” direct from the author Frances McNamara in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason why I wanted to read a new Cosy Historical Mystery series:

Hallo, dear hearted readers – My interest in reading this book is multi-layered to be honest! My grandparents attended the World’s Fair in Chicago in the early 20th Century (see also this article), and had passed down their memories and enthusiasm about attending the event at young ages. I was equally fascinated by World Fairs for as long as I can remember – as I learnt of them in a joint (class) discussion between my Science & History studies in middle school. To attend an event like that and see first-hand the innovation and invention arriving new to the world – had to be immediately awe-inspiring! This fond fascination of my own, predated my knowledge of my grandparents attendance! On the same vein of thought, my favourite bits of Epcot to visit as a child were Innoventions, Journey into Imagination with Figment, World of Motion, Universe of Energy and of course I loved Tomorrowland at Disney! Lest I mention how much I loved Robin Williams exhibit as his character came alive in Tomorrowland as “the Timekeeper”!

I have always marvelled at innovations – to be on the brink of something radically dynamic and new to shape the tomorrows of the future has always endeared my curiosity and enriched my imagination! How could it not!?

I have wanted to seek out literature about the Fairs for a long while. Further encouraged when I attended the BookTalk Nation chat (between readers & writers – BookTalk Nation was a wicked pro-positive event encouraging book discussions openly between the bookish!) with Deeanne Gist! She was releasing her own novel at the time about the Chicago World’s Fair: It Happened at the Fair! She revealled that the inspiration for “The Wizard of Oz” was tied to the same fair – imagine!? I am still a few releases behind this one in my readings of her stories, but I have happily earmarked this one to read once I arrive back inside my readings! There are other one-offs and series I’d love to seek out inasmuch as non-fiction releases that might talk about the World Fairs & Expositions in greater scope – as it’s simply a topic of living history I love uncovering!

Counter-current to this interest is my on-going passion and pursuit of finding Cosy Historical Mysteries – not entirely focused on one-offs necessarily, as I much prefer the breadth of serial fiction – I wanted to take a chance on the Emily Cabot Mysteries all the same! At the time when I signed up to participate in the tour – I had fully intended to borrow the first book in the series – Death at the Fair – via inter-library loan! However, this Summer I had my hands full dealing with tech issues, connectivity difficulties, an ant invasion and enough lightning storms to wish I lived somewhere that had more blizzards than lightning; snow I can handle! Lightning? Oy vie.

Similar to how I entered the Coffeehouse Mysteries (by Cleo Coyle) and the Bess Crawford Mysteries (by Charles Todd) – so too, is my entrance a bit of field of sequence with the Emily Cabot Mysteries! I rarely brake a series order – by sometimes life has a way of interrupting your plans! To say I was most eager to meet my next spunky female sleuth would be putting it mildly, dear hearts! Oh! Reading mysteries is as regenerative as a cuppa of tea!

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Blog Book Tour | “Death at the Paris Exposition” (Book No.6 of the Emily Cabot Mysteries) by Frances McNamara Better known as the new Cosy Historical Mystery series Jorie cannot wait to read in full!Death at the Paris Exposition
Subtitle: An Emily Cabot Mystery
by Frances McNamara
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Amateur sleuth Emily Cabot’s journey once again takes her to a world’s fair–the Paris Exposition of 1900. Chicago socialite Bertha Palmer is named the only female U. S. commissioner to the Exposition and enlists Emily’s services as her secretary.

Their visit to the House of Worth for the fitting of a couture gown is interrupted by the theft of Mrs. Palmer’s famous pearl necklace. Before that crime can be solved, several young women meet untimely deaths and a member of the Palmer’s inner circle is accused of the crimes.

As Emily races to clear the family name she encounters jealous society ladies, American heiresses seeking titled European husbands, and more luscious gowns and priceless jewels. Along the way, she takes refuge from the tumult at the country estate of Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. In between her work and sleuthing, she is able to share the Art Nouveau delights of the Exposition, and the enduring pleasures of the City of Light with her family.

Genres: Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

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ISBN: 9780996755832

Published by Allium Press of Chicago

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 278

Published By: Allium Press of Chicago (@alliumpress)

Author’s page on Allium Press of Chicago

The Emily Cabot Mysteries:

Death at the Fair | No. 1 | Synopsis

Death at Hull House | No. 2 | Synopsis

Death at Pullman | No. 3| Synopsis

Death at Woods Hole | No. 4 | Synopsis

Death at Chinatown | No. 5 | Synopsis

Death at the Paris Exposition | No. 6 | this review!

Converse via: #HistoricalMystery, #HistMyst, #CosyMystery + #HistFic
Available Formats: Paperback and E-Book

About Frances McNamara

Frances McNamara

Frances McNamara grew up in Boston, where her father served as Police Commissioner for ten years. She has degrees from Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges, and formerly worked as a librarian at the University of Chicago. When not working or writing she can be found sailing on the Charles River in Boston or beaching on Cape Cod.

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A new Historical heroine to love:

Emily Cabot’s calm reference for her inability to save a girl’s life whilst in Paris spoke volumes of her carriage. Her emotional depth of connection to the cases she takes-on was a true reflection of another historical sleuth, who has endeared my affection – Lady Keira Darby! Both women wear their emotions on their sleeves and take it quite personal as an affront upon their character to have failed in saving an innocent life. Even moreso, to solve a crime that they felt was highly preventative. In this, I applauded the entrance Ms McNamara chose to give us, dear hearts, as she instantly connected me to the vary core of who Emily Cabot is as a female sleuth!

Her humility and thanksgiving of chance circumstances is a credit to her character. Imagine having a benefactor as your employer! In this, I smirked thinking of the Aunt Dimity series! In this instance, Emily found a generous sole in Mrs Bertha Palmer! I must say, I have always fancied both of their names not withstanding the fact that I was smitten with the Lady Emily series (by Tasha Alexander) nearly seven years ago; another series I need to readdress.

My Review of Death at the Paris Exposition:

Emily Cabot was more than a bit taken by surprise that her entire family were with her in Paris. Her husband was ensconced into his field of interest and their children had someone to attend to their needs in her absence. What was further curious, was her employer (Mrs Palmer) insisted that she become properly outfitted to keep pace with the contemporary style as they were intended to socialise with the upper elite circle of Paris throughout their stay. The main affair was the Exposition but her matron of charitable generosity had booked a full social calendar outside of it. To her credit, as she felt swallowed up inside a world only view-able by one’s dreams Emily simply allowed herself to be indulged. Afterall, what harm could it hurt to let her employer takeover the small details when she was her personal secretary? Not having to worry about appearance was an easement on her mind – giving her plenty of things to focus on – including the gentlemen (a famous designer named Worth) of whom would redefine who she was to the outside world with his wardrobe designed especially for her.

Oh, dear my! This suspenseful moments alight so very gently, if you were to blink to enjoy the narrative and the time period mannerisms which disclose the dialogue or flow of narrative – you could in effect miss certain clues! This is the way in which I like to retreat into a Cosy Historical! You get so very comfortable in the ‘here and now’ of where the characters are presently, you are properly caught unawares that anything has gone foul! This was surely true when the gentlemen accompanying Mrs Palmer and Emily (Honoré Palmer’s son and friend Lord Lawford) were distracted upon arrival at the House of Worth! Though to be fair what went amiss inside was far more compelling of a twist!

By Chapter 5, I was treated to a bit of a back-story on Emily and her husband – how he had researched x-rays and she had taught at University. They were intellectually matched, but their love of marriage, family and career was self-evident. They might work full-time, but family was a strong component of their lives, as it should be, of course! Their situation was a rare find – generally most female sleuths are either single or attempting to be married – unless they’re career driven. Emily is already settled and endeavours to do more in her life. Quite admirable, for sure! It presented a new appeal to see a working Mum at the helm of a Cosy Historical and I must say, I enjoyed the change of perspective!

At the mention of Woods Hole, my youth came back to mind as I had taken a keen interest in both Scripps and Woods Hole – after I discovered the career of Dr Robert B. Ballard of whom, I always credit as the finder of Titanic’s watery tomb. Hull House sounded familiar and then a light bulb flashed! Yes, of course! I had read a novel earlier this year about this legacy in Chicago! Part of mine unexpected literary focus on the rights of Women’s Equality and the Suffragette Movement! Reflectively seen by the inclusion of the Women’s Equality symbol on my Twitter avatar.

Such a true statement was expressed by Emily: how life rushes in such fast clips and if you don’t grasp the moments where memory forestalls the passage of hours, you will arrive in the far off future without anything to show for the passage of years. All of life can be a challenge, to a more or lesser extent, given the circumstances but if you embrace the journey and allow for a margin of the unexpected – you’ll find your attitude will soar in the goodwill that alights on your path.  I must say, I loved her philosophy about life – whilst sharing how she and her husband loved to expose their three young children to experiences – as that truly is the best way to raise them! With a better appreciation of the world and the multitude of people of whom they can interact. Such bliss to find in the heart of the series!

Aye! Aye! Not the isolated incident Mrs Palmer had hoped to find! Even Emily seemed a bit flummoxed by the disappearances of such personal properties! Her husband encouraged her sleuthing – nearly ahead of her instincts which I smiled at seeing! It isn’t often you find a spouse or boyfriend so agreeable! Except for the ones who understand the women and accept their inquisitive natures! Evenso, a nice touch! I can see myself getting caught up in the song of the romance!

Inspector Guillaume was an affable fellow – intrigued by Emily’s inner connection to events and people outside his reach – he welcomed her along into his investigation. I know this must have delighted her husband to no end! The Inspector liked intellectual puzzles and finding out the identity of the serial thief was a puzzle he wished to consult Emily about. She tried to downplay her instincts and talents therein, and her rightly ignored her protestations!

Something stirred to mind – as I read the story, the names of the suspected thief (Pied Piper) felt vaguely familiar! I had wondered if in part, there was more evidential support to the arc of the mystery than mere imagination! I also liked her lush descriptions for the periods fashion and the locals of the setting – as Paris can be illuminated very spectacularly in fiction! So much so, the contrast to reality still jars me a bit! Almost as the real Paris is the illusion and the fictional Paris is the collective memory of all who love the city minus a few details withheld.

The social commentary was most welcome! I love the divides of classes and how despite the gaps in what is obvious – there is far more in common! Even the acts of a desperate person are not without cause for concern as anyone who endeavours harm leaves a cautionary wake of confusion. Even more concerning is how one would want another to hang for crimes they were innocent of committing. McNamara has broached a compelling thread of deception and overlaid the drama at the feet of the World’s Fair. A natural venue for deception – as who would suspect to find anything out of step, much less of nefarious nature?

On the Cosy Historical Mystery writing style of Ms McNamara:

You can sense the authors who love to write Cosy Historical Mysteries – I have reviewed several in the past already – their pacing and fluidity for their heroes and heroines of Crime fall effortlessly together on the page. Visually you feel hugged into their era of choice, emotionally you feel the condition of their character’s mind, heart and spirit. McNamara follows suit by the allure of how a time of celebration can harbour a darkness ready to blight out all the joy when someone conspires evil, when everyone else is euphoric for change; their eyes full of wonder, not suspicion.

McNamara includes those small influences of disclosure I love so much in this sophisticated genre where a nudge or a nod will hold you until more evidence presents itself; sometimes even at the shock of the lead character. I truly like her approach – you can easily become caught up inside the series! For me, that is truly golden and spot on! I shall be getting more of these to read!

Methinks that the small gestures of memory on behalf of Emily’s time at other World Fairs or Expositions might be a nod to the other books. Of this I am not entirely sure, as I entered on the sixth installment. If I am right, I can attest that these memories draw your eye into interests and are just enough to ground you into the fuller scope of the series.

Further joy was recognising there are characters within this series of historical reputation and thus, adding a wicked benefit of grounding the series within our shared living history! I love Biographical Historical Fiction narratives – as they allow us a beautiful gateway into the historical past! I cannot express my gratitude enough to have been treated to such an unexpected joy in having read one of these novels! I will surely be re-reading this one after I make my way through the first five – thus granting me immeasurable future #bookjoy!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Follow the Virtual Road Map by visiting the blog tour route:

A note of apology to the author – if the lightning storms hadn’t proven more deadly to my computer and connectivity recently, I would have happily showcased my review of this beautiful book series as originally scheduled! I had to write my review in long hand and then transcribe it to my blog – sadly, I kept trying to do this ‘ahead’ of my re-scheduled tour dates (yesterday and then today!) except to say, I had to push it forward until this morning! I couldn’t wait to share my #booklove of the series and I wanted to extend my gratitude to the author for giving me such a wicked sweet book to read! I honestly cannot wait to gather the rest of the series – first through my library and eventually to house on my own bookshelves, as this is truly a wicked good series that I am going to continue to enjoy reading!

Also, a quick s/o to the publisher, Allium Press of Chicago of whom I am thankful to have discovered reading this novel! I love wickedly descriptive Cosy Historical Mysteries as well as the voice and style of the Emily Cabot Mysteries – these are a special treat to read and devour! I cannot wait to look over their catalogue and see if there are other authors who are publishing one-offs or series I’d find equal enjoyment in reading! Again, I apologise for the delay in getting this review posted!

Death at the Paris Exposition blog tour via HFVBTs.
I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 9 September, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Art History, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Berta Honore Palmer, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, France, French Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mary Cassatt, Passionate Researcher, Sociological Behavior, the Nineteen Hundreds

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