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Mystery set in Paris, and talking to author Leigh Russell about setting

30th December 2016

Girl in Danger by Leigh Russell, crime mystery set in Paris.

Paris makes for an excellent backdrop Leigh Russells’ Girl in Danger. Starting out in the Marais, there are all kinds of local highlights that will make you feel you are in the City of Light with the characters.

mystery set in parisLucy is a rookie reporter living in the city, and her friend Nina has come to stay. A possible scoop is soon hers for the taking – it seems – when an anonymous informant contacts her. By the Canal Saint-Martin, where she is to wait for further details, a man slips her a key and fob and disappears into the ether. But he has made it clear to her that “they” are watching.

She returns to her flat, Nina has gone out and in the meantime the place has been trashed. The newspaper chief gives her the contact details of a PI, Alain, and together they find themselves evading the unwanted attentions of gangster Patrice Durand and his henchmen “There ain’t nowhere in Paris where you can hide from Patrice“. Ominous! They are clearly after something in her possession. Whilst Alain’s target is Patrice, Lucy is more concerned about the well-being of her friend; much to her consternation the police seem most disinterested in searching for her whereabouts, so she feels she must fall back on her own sleuthing instincts to track her down. This savvy Nancy Drew of the modern era is full of cunning plans, truly fearless and determined, she shies away seemingly from nothing and ploughs her way through hazards and frightening encounters.

Twists and turns aplenty as Lucy rushes around Paris bringing together clues and constructing plans to track down Nina before it’s too late. And all set against a stunning Parisian backdrop.

When people suggest books that are evocative of Paris, the name of author Cara Black often comes up, as she sets her mysteries, starring Aimée Leduc, in the various arrondissements of the city. I think Lucy Hall, a sassy character created by Leigh Russell makes for an admirable alternative for enjoying this stunning city through fiction.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Over to Leigh for our feature #TalkingLocationWith... here she talks about Paris, the evocative backdrop for Girl in Danger:

Setting a book in a foreign location can be a bonus for an author, offering a perfect excuse to spend time abroad. So while I am continuing to write my popular Geraldine Steel series of crime novels rooted very firmly in contemporary Britain, my Lucy new Hall series has so far taken me to the Seychelles, Paris and Rome.


Jardin des Tuileries

Girl in Danger is set in Paris where my English heroine, Lucy Hall, lives. As I don’t like to spend more than a few weeks at a time overseas, it’s really helpful to set a book in a location that is so easily accessible from London, so this particular location works really well. A two hour train journey takes us right into the heart of Paris, a short distance from the Marais where Lucy lives in a picturesque side street off the busy Rue des Rosiers. In fact, as Lucy discovers, the Eiffel Tower is less than 300 miles from Central London.


On the Seine

More important than travelling time is that I am fortunate to have some wonderful friends living in Paris, who have taken me to places off the beaten track. Yes, Lucy Hall takes a boat on the Seine – with near fatal consequences – and she escapes from the police by hiding in a crowd of tourists queuing to visit the Eiffel Tower. She succeeds in evading notice as she enters the landmark site and ascends to the summit, but then faces the challenge of leaving the tower undetected. She visits Montmartre and the Jardin des Tuileries, and other well-known places.


Canal St Martin

But the reader isn’t only taken to famous sites around Paris. Lucy also frequents the quays of the Canal St Martin, an area popular with young Parisiens. She meets friends in an idiosyncratic Parisien bar popular with local people, and she spends time in areas of the city which do not feature on tourist maps. This not only adds another level of interest for the reader, but it makes my heroine’s experience of living in Paris seem more credible.


Seine at night

In Girl in Danger I have tried to offer my readers more than a thrilling story that will keep them turning the pages. I hope the book will also evoke something of the sights and atmosphere of the beautiful city of Paris. I trust this will be of equal interest to those who know the city well, and readers who have never been there.

Thank you so much to Leigh for sharing her experience of the city and for the wonderful person photos! You can connect with Leigh on Twitter and via her website and you can buy Girl in Danger here.

And do come and connect with Team TripFiction via Twitter (@tripfiction), Facebook (TripFiction), Instagram (TripFiction) and Pinterest (TripFiction)… and now YouTube

For more books set in Paris, just click here.

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  1. User: Jennifer S. Alderson

    Posted on: 03/01/2017 at 3:41 pm

    Excellent review and article about Paris! Girl in Danger is now on my TBR list; I could use a weekend in the city of lights.


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