Friday, March 27, 2009

Guest Review: The Crimes of Paris & Giveaway

Guess who's back? Booking Pap Pap! This time he has written a terrific review for THE CRIMES OF PARIS by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. He came to visit me a few weeks ago and saw this book sitting on my desk. He grabbed it right up and said he wanted to read it -- I didn't really request it with him in mind, but... I think you'll be able to tell how much he really enjoyed this book.

Summary: Turn-of-the-century Paris was the beating heart of a rapidly changing world. Painters, scientists, revolutionaries, poets--all were there. But so, too, were the shadows: Paris was a violent, criminal place, its sinister alleyways the haunts of Apache gangsters and its cafes the gathering places of murderous anarchists. In 1911, it fell victim to perhaps the greatest theft of all time--the taking of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. Immediately, Alphonse Bertillon, a detective world-renowned for pioneering crime-scene investigation techniques, was called upon to solve the crime. And quickly the Paris police had a suspect: a young Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso.... -- Little, Brown and Company

THE CRIMES OF PARIS by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler is a true story account of several sensational crimes that occurred in Paris in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The authors introduce the book by describing Paris during that time as the cultural center of the world as well as the epicenter of modernism, the revolution that was changing the way people looked at the world. For the first time people were seeing technological advances such as movies, automobiles, telephones, airplanes and railroads, among others.

For all the progressive aspects of Paris there was a dark side which included constant changes in the form of government, the violence of anarchism and the threat of common street criminals. Because of the Paris citizenry’s fascination with crime, the focus of newspapers, theatre and fictional writings was on this dark side of Paris. The authors do a good job of taking the reader through the development of fictional detective stories which often mirrored real life crime situations. Often the heroes of these books were the criminals. Sometimes the stories utilized current police methods and sometimes the writings created ideas that were later utilized by the police.

The Hooblers give detailed accounts of several real-life crimes to portray the continuing battle between criminals and the scientific advances used to solve crimes. In these historical accounts the authors chronicle advances in scientific crime solving methods such as toxicology, finger printing, body part identification methods, disguises and crime-scene investigation techniques. They record the first use of the automobile as a getaway car and the first police use of the car as a crime solving tool. Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler also utilize some of the crimes to describe the Parisian’s attitude toward female criminals during this time.

The most sensational of these crimes was the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. Ironically, the crime was not solved by the Paris police despite applying all the new scientific techniques. Interestingly, Pablo Picasso was considered a suspect in the case.

Although the book started off slowly for me the action picked up as the authors began to describe the crimes. The detailed discussion of the Mona Lisa theft was well done and left me with a good understanding of the crime and the surrounding historical perspective. The other cases were excellent examples of how police work changed during this short time. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who has interest in crime solving, suspense novels or early twentieth century history.

A big thanks to Hachette for sending me this ARC and to Booking Pap Pap for his review. THE CRIMES OF PARIS will be available on April 27th.

Does this sound like a book that you'd like to read? I just happen to have three copies of THE CRIMES OF PARIS to share courtesy of Hachette Book Group. For one entry, just leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me why you want to read this book. For an additional entry (or two), you can blog about this contest with a link back to this post and/or mention it on Twitter. This contest is open until April 15th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will pick the winners randomly and announce them the following day. This giveaway is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

84 comments:

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9@verizon.net

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me! Booking Pap Pap is so funny - coming in and taking your books! I'm glad to see him back and really enjoyed his review. I can't wait to read the book now.

nfmgirl said...

I'd love a chance to win this book. I love true-life crime books. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Bridget said...

Don't enter me - I posted this on Win A Book.

NotNessie said...

I love crime books. Please include me in your giveaway.

Vanessa
gypsyrover21@yahoo.ca

Ti said...

I typically do not read true-crime books but when they involve a specific setting then they intrigue me. What better setting than Paris? I love the gritty underside of things.

thereedfamilyATsbcglobalDOTnet

I loved Pap Pap's review BTW. Nicely done!

Jayme said...

I don't think I've read a true-crime book, but I would love to try one!

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I haven't read many true crime books (although Devil in the White City was fascinating!!), but this one appeals because I LOVE Paris. I have been blessed enough to go to Paris twice. I lived in Southern France for 16 months, and I love France in general. But Paris is amazing. Great review, Booking Pap Pap. Thanks for the contest, Booking Mama.

teabird said...

I'm always interested in how science began to replace instinct in society - please include me! thanks.

teabird 17 ##at## yahoo dot com

LuAnn said...

I'm a fan of true crime books, especially when science plays a part!

Cheryl S. said...

At first, I really didn't think I would be interested in this book. But after reading your review, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Please count me in - Thanks!
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

donnas said...

Please enter me. I really want to read this.

Thanks!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

bridget3420 said...

I want to read this book because I love a good mystery.

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

Karin said...

I definitely want to read this!

underthecoversandreading said...

I'd love a copy of this book-- I just finished Drood and now I need another book about the 'underground' life of another major European city. I'm so glad Booking Pap Pap has sticky fingers. :)

periabd1@yahoo.com

Pissenlit said...

I would love to read this book because I enjoy crime novels and the theft of the Mona Lisa interests me because I was an art major.

Marie said...

Paris and an art theft -- it sounds wonderful! I would love a chance to read it :-)

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

carolsnotebook said...

I love true-life crime books. Thanks for entering me.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, please enter me. I love detective novels!

olympianlady said...

I'm VERY excited to read this one. I love crime/thriller novels and I love the plot idea and setting. PLEASE enter me. Thanks!

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

olympianlady said...

I also blogged this at: http://olympianlady.livejournal.com/7658.html

Thanks!
tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

mindy said...

because this sounds like a great read thanks for the giveaway minsthins(at)optonline(dot)net

quiltingreader said...

I want to win because I love to read.

13rubberducks [at] gmail [sot] com

debrob58 said...

I'd love to win because I could discover yet another new author (for me, anyway) and because setting the plot in Paris should be intriguing!

Kiki said...

I'd love to read this book because it sounds like it really combines history and mystery in one!

Kiki
ParkingGoddessFTW at gmail dot com

sharon54220 said...

Please enter me in this contest.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Kristi said...

I love true crime books - and combining it with the historical aspect makes it even better. Please enter me in your drawing!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Kristi said...

I twittered here: http://tinyurl.com/cpuzst

kherbrand at comcast dot net

BUSY BEE said...

My kind of book. thanks for the review and giveaway!


whitten100 at yahoo dot com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

looks great please include me.mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

S. Krishna said...

No need to enter me, but thank you so much to Booking Pap Pap for the great review!

Gwendolyn B. said...

This one sounds like it's right up my alley! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Here's my Tweet! http://twitter.com/ASeaOfBooks/status/1407135882
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Tisa said...

I would love to read this! Never heard of it til now but I love reading about anything to do with Paris after going there on vacation a few years ago. Thanks! ~ :)

sounders68 [at] gmail.com

Molly said...

Well, I enjoy true-crime books and I LOVE the city of Paris (although I wish I could visit more often). Please enter me in the drawing.

Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this. I really enjoy true crime.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

MJ said...

I'd love to read this.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Alyce said...

I like stories about true crimes.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I tweeted it here:

http://twitter.com/AtHomeWithBooks/status/1407737494

Book Bird Dog said...

Please enter me for the book giveaway. I love Paris, have reviewed mystery books set in Paris, and love mysteries as well as art! Paable Picasso accused of stealing the Mona Lisa? Sounds like a fun read!

Harvee Lau

harvee44@yahoo.com

Bcteagirl said...

I love historical books, and am also very interested in how investigating techniques have changed over time... this book seems to have it all! Thanks for the contest :)

Betty C said...

Just the idea of Pablo Picasso stealing the Mona Lisa makes this an interesting story. I would love to read it.

Alyce said...

I blogged about it here:

http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/03/weekly-giveaway-roundup_28.html

Amber said...

I am a bit of a Paris fanatic and hope to visit the city one day - for now though, reading fast-paced books based in the City of Love is the closest I can come.
Thanks for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Dawn M. said...

I'm not much of a true-crime book reader, but I like the fact that this one is dealing with the theft of the Mona Lisa and Pablo Picasso as a suspect. I like the idea of reading about turn of the century investigation techniques too. So please enter me. :0)

Thanks!

Hermie's Mom said...

I love true crime and have seen the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I really enjoy reading books set in places I have been.

mecampbell29{at}gmail{dot}com

Linda said...

Picasso had a role in a recent book I read (Guernica) and that has sparked an interest in him. I'd love to read this book.

Kristi said...

I blogged about this here:

http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2009/03/weekly-round-up-of-links-3-29-2009.html

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I love historical books with a twist. This sounds right up my alley.

carolsnotebook said...

I posted this on my blog, too.

http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/giveaways-in-blogland/

Paris-Insider said...

This is so interesting. I love reading about Paris and exploring all the well known and lesser known details of its past and present. I have been putting together what I hope will be a comprehensive guide to Paris including history, travel and cultural information - an insider's perspective on this beautiful city. Check out the site and see if Paris Insider would benefit from the addition of these wildly interesting pieces of information! :-)

Because you are an avid reader and a Paris lover, I'd deeply appreciate any feedback you may have!

Au revoir,
Beth
Beth at Paris-Insider dot com

Amanda said...

O Please I want to win this one! It's got everything, crime, art, history...sigh. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great book. I love true-crime!!

Thank you for the entry.

freda.mans@sympatico.ca

scottsgal said...

True crime books are one of my favorite genres - count me in please

msboatgal at aol .com

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for a great giveaway. I would love to win. I love true crime books.
Thank you
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

Sandra K321 said...

This sounds like an interesting book since I enjoy reading historical fiction. I am currently reading "The Devil in the White City", a similar book about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

Carol said...

I'm a big fan of suspense novels. Thank you for the chance to win this book!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Trish said...

sounds like a wonderful read, i loves these kinds of books!

Brooke said...

Okay besides the fact I love books and reading; I truly like reading about crimes. Seeing how it was done, how they discovered everything, and all that fun stuff.. I love solving things so I think that is why I like reading about some crimes because I try to figure it out as I go...

judyv12306 said...

This is on my must read list.

Tammy said...

I got my undergrad degree in history and I still love reading anything historical. Please enter me, missporkchop AT yahoo DOT com.

I also blogged about the contest here.

liane66 said...

I love true crime stories so this sounds great.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kaye said...

You said the magic word, Louvre! That is one place that is on my bucket list. I'd love to win this one as Paris just seems to be filled with mystery and intrigue. florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jennifer said...

I have always loved true crime books and stories!

jennylovesjeff (at) hotmail (dot) com

Shelley said...

This sounds like an interesting one! I would love a chance to win!
saz AT chainreader DOT com

Shelley said...

I blogged about this here: http://sazfreelunch.blogspot.com/2009/04/crimes-of-paris-giveaway.html

kathemc(at)gmail(dot)com said...

This sounds like just my kind of book -- would love to win!

valerie2350 said...

love crime books :)

sweeps4bloggers
@
gmail
.
com

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1460822007

Creative Mom said...

I would love to read this book and I am always looking for good reading material. Thank you
My e-mail is-
teraustin@mindspring.com

Creative Mom said...

Tweeted about this blog and contest as flinflan.
teraustin@mindspring.com

dawnlizabeth said...

I would love to read this book! It has all the makings of a new favorite;I am a history student and somewhat the Francophile,besides it sounds very interesting.

Selinda said...

I love true crime books and this sounds wonderful!

Thanks,

selinda_mccumbers at yahoo.com

fxs111 said...

It sounds like a perfect summer read. Please include me in your giveaway

Miranda said...

sounds like a great book

sandyy456 said...

Paris is my favorite city! I love reading any book set there.

Tiffany819 said...

I love crime novels. This looks like a good book. I'd love to read it. Thank you!

jwx4 said...

I'd love to read this book. Crime novels are my fav.


jwx4@yahoo.com

ellie said...

I usually read fictional crime books but this sounds extremely interesting. Now I have to read it! Please enter me.

Anita Yancey said...

Great review! I would like to read this book, because you made it sound so interesting. That and I love true crimes books. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Beth said...

This looks great - a historical novel set in Paris, what's not to love? :) Please enter me!

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Diana D said...

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for having the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

Wanda said...

I'd love to win a copy of THE CRIMES OF PARIS

Anna said...

Glad to hear it's a good book. It's in my TBR pile, and I stupidly requested it thinking it was fiction. lol It sounds interesting, though.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric