The Alibi Club

Francine Mathews, Author . Bantam $24 (320p) ISBN 0-553-80331-X

Imagine the impeccable period details of Alan Furst's novels about Paris during WWII mixed with a cast straight out of Casablanca and you begin to get some idea of the pleasures on tap in Mathews's new thriller (after 2005's Blown ). Set in Paris in the spring of 1940, the book offers great female characters: Sally King, a top American model who works for Coco Chanel and whose lawyer lover is murdered in the first few pages; an African-American singer, Memphis Jones, much loved by a mysterious German; and Irene Curie, daughter of the famous scientists, who holds a dangerous secret that could change history. On the male side, there's Joe Hearst, a diplomat with brains and a heart who works as special investigator for the American ambassador, "Champagne Bill" Bullitt (a real figure). Other important actual people like John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen, are on hand, and much of the action centers on the Alibi Club, a small but very hot nightclub where Memphis sings nightly and the other characters hatch plots and try to solve murders before the Nazis officially take over. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/12/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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