A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame…
Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France’s colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.
There are several times over the course of the story that Jaya and her companions would have felt like they were standing in quicksand with no way to escape and that they would soon be over their heads literally or figuratively. It's a wonderful mystery that takes place across France from Paris to Nantes to Mont Saint- Michel. While there may be lulls in the action, they are natural and remind you that someone cannot run on adrenaline 24/7. The lulls do not last long. The pace of the story is generally quick. The slowest part is when Jaya is trying to make up her mind whether to go to Paris or not. The main characters are well developed. The secondary characters have enough to them to show that they are important to the plot, but are not necessarily built up in-depth. The ending is action packed and surprising. The 90-year-old stage magician is an awesome character. Age doesn't slow him down a bit.
In the afterword, the author explains where she got the idea for the mystery. She also details which parts are historically accurate and which are imagined. Even this makes for interesting reading.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a well-written mystery with characters that are fun to read about.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.