Folly Du Jour
Soho, Aug 2008, $24.95
In 1927 Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands attends the Interpol conference in Paris, but when he lands at the airport the local police meet him. They take Joe to a prison where they hold a countryman of his charged with murder. Joe is stunned to find the French police accuse his long time friend Sir George Jardine of stabbing Sir Stanley Somerton, another person Joe knew but in this case would prefer not to have ever met the horrid victim.
Joe rejects the official position as he knows George would never do such an act except in self defense. He and French detective Inspector Jean-Philippe Bonnefoye investigate together based on the assumption someone else murdered the sleazy Somerton. They start at the morgue where pathologist Dr. Moulin explains the odd M.O. matches several recent homicides in the last three to four years. The two sleuths wonder whether a serial killer is stalking Paris.
FOLLY DU JOUR is a terrific 1920s police procedural starring two superb detectives. Joe may be shocked in his latest case (see THE BEE’S KISS, THE PALACE TIGER and THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE), but gets to work right away while his French partner holds up his end of their joint investigation. Although the resolution can be seen from the French capital to London, historical mystery readers enjoy the two detectives’ guided tour of Roaring Twenties euphoric post WWI Paris as this is a superb historical whodunit.