Clandestine: A St.-Cyr and Kohler Mystery

J. Robert Janes. Open Road/MysteriousPress.com, $14.99 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-5040-0934-8
As shown in the absorbing 16th St.-Cyr and Kohler mystery (after 2014’s Carnival), Janes continues to address how “the everyday common crimes of murder, arson and the like” were investigated during the Nazi occupation of France. In 1943, Det. Insp. Hermann Kohler, a decent man who works for the German police, and Louis St.-Cyr, of the Sûreté, find themselves near the ruins of a monastery northeast of Paris dealing with a double homicide. René Deniard, the driver of an armored bank van, and his assistant, Raymond Paquette, were gunned down in the course of an unusual robbery. The killer or killers took small bills and the identity papers from the victims, but they left behind the large denominations, as well as a treasure trove of such luxury items as champagne and truffles. The presence nearby of some expensive high heels adds to the mystery. As in the best historical whodunits, the effective insertion of minor details (starving French and Germans ate “roof rabbits,” the euphemism used for cats) goes a long way to bringing the reader into the story. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
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