cover image The Paris Librarian: A Hugo Marston Novel

The Paris Librarian: A Hugo Marston Novel

Mark Pryor. Seventh Street, $15.95 ISBN 978-1-63388-177-8

Early in Pryor’s solid sixth Hugo Marston novel (after 2015’s The Reluctant Matador), Hugo, the security officer at the American embassy in Paris, visits the American Library in Paris, where his friend Paul Rogers is the director. When Hugo, a sympathetic lead with a strong moral compass, knocks on Paul’s office door, he gets no response. Since the door is locked, he must rely on a library employee with a key to open it. Inside, Paul is sitting in his chair, dead. Perhaps he died of natural causes, but of course it could be a case of foul play. Might there be a connection between Paul’s demise and the library having recently acquired the papers of American actress Isabelle Severin, now in her late 90s, who spied for the Allies in France during WWII? Pryor carefully plants clues amid the red herrings, though the obscure and somewhat tawdry solution may disappoint some readers. Agent: Ann Collette, Rees Literary Agency. (Aug.)