cover image The Paris Widow

The Paris Widow

Kimberly Belle. Park Row, $18.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7783-0797-6

At the start of Belle’s entertaining latest (after The Personal Assistant), Atlanta caterer Stella Knox and her husband, Adam, are vacationing in Paris. When Adam vanishes following an explosion at a café, French police tell Stella that he was likely being targeted in connection with his work as a black-market antiques dealer. Stella’s shocked—she’s only ever known Adam as the owner of a quaint antiques shop back in the States. Then her hotel room is ransacked, and she starts to worry that whoever is after Adam might have their sights set on her as well. With no sign of Adam’s body, Stella turns to her money-laundering ex-boyfriend for help untangling what happened. Together, they leap down a rabbit hole of murder and espionage, uncovering some not-so-surprising secrets along the way. The occasional predictability doesn’t hinder things too much, however: Stella is an appealing protagonist, and Belle peppers the action with vibrant descriptions of her European setting. This continues the author’s winning streak. Agent: Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary. (June)