MYSTERY MARCH: Do Murder Mysteries Have Happy Endings?

MYSTERY MARCH: Do Murder Mysteries Have Happy Endings?

A review of THE PARIS APARTMENT by Lucy Foley.

I’m a huge fan of “locked room” style mysteries, the kind where a handful of people in a limited setting are all suspect for one reason or another and it’s up to the audience (and our protagonist) to figure out who the true culprit(s) may be. I enjoy puzzling out tiny details as I attempt to suss out means, motive, and opportunity. The recent popularity of films like KNIVES OUT or shows like ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING attest to the current trend of interest in this genre as well. THE PARIS APARTMENT by Lucy Foley is a testament to the art of thoughtfully complex characters and deftly distributed clue crumbs, that will have you rethinking things until the end.

THE PARIS APARTMENT mystery centers around the sudden (and possibly deadly) disappearance of a journalist (Ben) as his half-sister, Jess, tries to piece together what happened and who might be responsible. We meet Jess and the other residents of Ben’s apartment building through chapters that take place from their point-of-view, inside their heads. I applaud Foley for her ability to clearly track who knows and thinks what, when, and how, as well as her talent for timing the mystery’s twists. Each surprising turn felt organic to the characters and situation, rather than shocking shifts structured for good “gotcha” moments. 

I have to admit, however, that when I read THE PARIS APARTMENT my own perspective on whether or not I wanted to cover it in this monthly review shifted as much as the book’s carefully choreographed chapters. My uncertainty in recommending it had to do with some of the content rather than the quality of the writing, as the story takes a pretty dark turn through the middle and definitely lives in an adult space content-wise. But, ultimately, I found the ending to be a satisfying, pleasant surprise for the genre, and for that reason, I do find myself recommending it (with that fair warning). 

Fly to Paris and solve a mystery, HERE.

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