The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley is a locked-room mystery in which an eccentric apartment building in Paris takes the lead role.
The Paris Apartment
Jess needs to get the heck out of England. She hops on a train and crosses the channel to bunk in with her half brother, Ben. Only when she gets there his apartment is empty. He doesn’t return, and every one of Ben’s neighbors is starting to look more and more like a suspect.
This is a locked-room mystery that shines with Agatha Christie-like qualities from the nuanced setting to the intricate cast of suspects.
The atmosphere was original with the apartment building becoming a character in its own right. If you enjoyed Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, you will love the architectural detail at work in The Paris Apartment.
Readers of this book blog will know I like my characters juicy and raw, and The Paris Apartment delivered.
Yes, the characters are complex and riddled with issues, but what I loved about this mystery book was the delivery of these characters. It was a slow build up to who they really were. Foley carefully strings you along, making you believe one thing about each of the building’s residents only to reveal their true nature one breathtaking fact at a time.
This was a fast-paced read for me. The mystery flowed with Jess moving from one clue to the next. Each time I thought she was embarking on a simple fact-finding mission something would go terribly wrong. The book is riddled with twists upon twists that left me shaking my head at my audiobook, wondering how I had let myself get tricked.
I don’t usually do this so here’s a huge head’s up: SPOILER ALERT. I’m about to talk about something on which the plot hinges but might be a sensitive topic for some readers. This is why I’m mentioning it.
The plot of this mystery book hinges on sex trafficking. When I realized where the story was going, I did get sick to my stomach. Vulnerable and at risk characters play a central role in Jess unraveling the mystery, and it can be difficult to read.
I struggled with one character in particular relating her story to Jess. It was horrific, and this may be a deal breaker to some readers. So I’m mentioning it here.
There is no content warning in the audiobook version, and I don’t see mention of this in the book’s description.
I devoured Foley’s two previous mystery novels, The Guest List and The Hunting Party, and each stand on their own as unique contributions to the mystery genre. The Paris Apartment is no exception. The twist and turns of this mystery, the complex characters, and skillful storytelling will always keep me coming back to Foley’s work.