If I had to sum up "The Paris Key" by Juliet Blackwell in one sentence it would be "It was a good book to read while suffering with a moderate concussion and cut up face."
|The Gargoyles of Notre Dame|
Which may be damning with faint praise.
This is a novel set in Paris, which is why I chose it for Paris in July. It is like dozens of other novels -- young woman decides to divorce her husband and move to Paris to find herself and take over the locksmith shop of her recently deceased uncle. Young woman meets interesting Parisian people, becomes enchanted with the city, deals with Parisian bureaucracy and then discovers a life-changing secret about her own past. Will she stay in Paris or return to California and her unfulfilled life?
|A street in the Marais|
I think you know the answer.
If often judge books by how soon I figure out the ending. In this case, it was on page 101 (of 358 pages). In a mystery, I feel a tad cheated but also rather clever. In this case, I've just read this plot too many times, maybe not in Paris (or maybe so).
|The Clock in Musee d'Orsay with Montmartre in the distance|
So, what's redeeming about it? Well, I learned a LOT about locks -- the old, beautiful kinds of locks you will see on many Parisian doors, locks from another time. That was interesting. And the sections describing sections of Paris that are familiar to me were delightful, like another visit.
You'll see some of those spots in the photos in this post -- Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, Musee d'Orsay, the Marais, Musee Carnavalet, and Galeries Lafayette, and the Catacombs, among others.
|The exterior garden of Carnavalet|
I suppose I could describe it as "not deep but pretty and occasionally interesting." And a fast read.
Paris in July is a month-long blog event celebrating the City of Light through books, music, film, food, photography, and travel.
It's hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea and Deb at Readerbuzz. Visit each week to join in with your Paris posts or to check out other participants' links.
Sharing with: Thyme for Tea
Great summary of the master plot of all kinds of Paris novels! Your photos are wonderful -- and could probably illustrate many of them. Your statement: "I've just read this plot too many times, maybe not in Paris (or maybe so)" really gets to the heart of the problem with too many copycats.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Wonderful fun challenge, read and see what page we figure out the ending. The book does sound interesting.
Early blogging days, Paris was popular. A favorite blog, "Pret a Voyager" by Anne Ditmeyer remains in memory for the enjoyment of reading her adventure moving there.
I do like the notre dame gargoyles, and i dislike le sacré coeur which looks like a huge meringue
It seems to me, Jeanie, that you know how to get the best out of a book, if you are determined to do so. I find that in general there is no plot to be uncovered early in most of the books that I read! I can perhaps unlock some knowledge about the topic, but that's just opening the door for me - there's no mystery involved, and sometime there are dichotomous keys that are useful. But no intrigue, no mystery, no locksmith, no romance, and the books so far have never been set in Paris! A while ago I binged on Margaret Atwood. Maybe it's time for a binge with Robertson Davies!
Thanks for another great review. I enjoyed all your Paris photos.
Take care, enjoy your day!
Your first sentence was all I needed.That's why I love your reviews. There's always something to intrigue me or make me laugh, even if I'm not interested in the book.
Sometimes it is fun to figure out the answer to a mystery and then pat yourself on the back for doing it. I haven't read this one, and I'm glad you found something redeeming about it. When it's hot I sometimes enjoy just such a no brainer book. Stay cool. hugs-Erika
Sounds like a good summer read, not too challenging and has an interesting setting.
"Not deep but pretty and occasionally interesting" is actually a pretty good review, all things considered!
Because I love Paris I could be tempted just for the adventure, but not sure it would be worth it in the long run. Hummmm!? Love your pictures, they bring back memories. How I wish I were there, but not right now. They are having a heat wave.
Now that I have my eyes back I have been reading real books! Just read three in the past week, yahoo. Although your photos are lovely- Paris is the least appealing town in which I have traveled. Been there three times- there were no joyous moments. I will skip the book and read some thing else, I am catching up- for as long as my eyes last!
Sounds like puff pastry! LOL. But, hey, if it brought back memories of Paris, all the better! Love your photos, Jeanie.
A fun summer read perhaps! I enjoyed "The Paris Library" by Janet Charles very much for my Paris in July book reading. I always enjoy your book reviews.
I want this blurb on the cover!
"A good book to read while suffering with a moderate concussion and cut up face."
As always your photos are glorious. Thank you/merci mille fois.
I enjoyed reading your synopsis of this book. Too bad it is the same story, different location and color. However, you read it, so that counts for something. And the lovely photos of Paris you shared are incredible.
Sometimes good enough is good enough lol I'm glad it served you in the moment.
Sounds like an interesting read. I just finished The Judge's List by John Grisham, it was pretty good.
I was so sure I had read this book for my 2-person France-themed book club - but nope! It must have been one we considered, or we read another book by that author? I love it when I know the area that is being described and have seen it with my own eyes. That will win me over and make up somewhat for a subpar plot - as long as the plot doesn't involve infidelity! I am very unforgiving when it comes to infidelity and it will ruin a book for me!
The cute balconies in the photo of street in Marais, remind me of my childhood town balconies.That's Europe for me.
You summed up perfectly how I feel about so many of these best seller, written in France, books: they are virtually the same story, told over and over. I have not been particularly fond of Juliette Blackwell’s books, although a I do agree with you that it is a pleasure to be immersed in Parisian culture. Your photos in this post are lovely.
It's got a great cover;)
AND you have some stellar Paris pics:)
It is nice you found something redeeming to keep going with that book.
Wonderful pictures you posted of Paris.
Love the pictures!
But if a plot is too simple...
As always, great photos. Thanks for the review. The book does sound like others.
It sounds very much like another book I recently read, but it's hard to pass up a quick, light read about Paris. I'm in.
I’d love to read it.
Isn't that an interesting garden? Your post hit home for me, as I've been watching Emily in Paris. It's two seasons of episodes, and although most of the characters are a bit young for me, I get to see Paris and experience all the foods and sites. There is a story that keeps going with each episode, and I like the main character, Emily, as she goes there not speaking French and having to learn it. Your Paris photos are always enchanting, Jeanie, and you have wonderful memories from your visit. Keep them tucked away in your heart.
Sounds like an interesting book....Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!! Thanks so for all your visits!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
Hi Jeanie, it sounds like a great book to while away a summer's day. I love all your photos too!
Jeanie, your photos are beautiful. Sometimes, I enjoy reading a book when I have the ending figured out, but the details of a place or characters are still interesting. Wishing you a lovely day and forgive my tardiness in commenting on your post!
Before I pandemic, I attended many library conferences, and I was always on the lookout for books set in Paris. I recently look through my accumulated stack of unread books from the conferences, and I was startled to find so many books set in Paris with virtually the same plot. Sigh.
I guess it is some comfort that you get to enjoy some Paris sightseeing when the story does not hold. Thank you for the review, great as always.
Loooove Paris …my favorite city…J’taime Paris ! 🍀❤️🍀
I hope you are recovering and feeling better Jeanie. If a book doesn't grab me after the first few pages, I usually put it right down, I just won't waste time with pages that don't capture me!
Many thanks for the review ...
Hoping you are recovering well, my good wishes.
All the best Jan
It seems there are so many of this kind of book and you can always tell how they end... Some of them are entertaining and if you can learn something like in this one it's a plus, some are downright boring. Your photos, however, are beautiful!
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