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[211] Masquerade – Walter Satterthwait


Masquerade is a book-crossing find. I have never heard of the author nor the Pinkerton series. Masquerade is a sequel to Escapade. Phil Beaumont is a Pinkerton agent who is hired to investigate the suicide-murder of a wealthy expat, an American publisher named Richard Forsythe and his German mistress. Assigned also to the case is Jane Turner, who is an undercover as a governess. The two operatives describe their detective adventures in alternating chapters.

He is Irish . . . and perhaps the most talented of the expatriate writers in Paris. He wrote a book called Ulysses, a very scandalous but fascinating piece of work. Very accomplished, very intelligent. [148]
Nothing was seriously damaged, except possibly Mr Picasso, who began to limp to the far side of the room, glancing back warily over his shoulder; but Mr Hemingway hadn’t finished yet. As he lunged for the table, his elbow had slapped against another painting. [195]

What makes this whodunnit novel fun to read is not the murder mystery, even although the dark enemies are closing in on all sides, but the recreation of Paris after World War One. Satterthwait populates the mystery with famous names from the mecca of writers and painters. He depicts Gertrude Stein’s being a keenly observant personality. Earnest Hemingway’s clumsiness and boorishness might be exaggerated. A number of suitors and elites are also among the suspects, including a British detective author who set her husband up, a French court, and other local expatriate luminaries. Interactions between these characters outshine the sudden, contrived solution to a difficulty in seems insurmountable.

257 pp. [Read/Skim/Toss]

6 Responses

  1. I am glad that you took the chance to read this Book Crossing!

    What book will you leave for someone to find?

  2. Loved your thoughts on this one…I’ve never heard of the author or book until now.

  3. Hmmm I havent heard of this author or series either sounds like its throwaway fun if you know what I mean? If I saw this via book croosing I would give it a whirl, but I never see book crossing books ever in London.

  4. Hi Matt,

    I’ve just won an award for my blog and I am passing it on to you. You can pick up your award here

  5. Maybe Terry Pratchett’s Masquerade would be a better book. 😛 certainly funnier.

  6. […] fluffy read is not usually my cup of tea. But about two months ago I read Masquerade by Walter Satterthwait, a book-crossing book that I picked up at a hotel lobby. It’s a murder […]

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