Signet, August 2002, 6.50, 256 pp.
All of France is celebrating the Armistice of 1918. In Le Grand Hotel Suite 999, Martin Prince, the editorial director of American Universal Publishing is hosting a grand party. One of the guests, Hollywood producer and screenwriter Eric Thorndyke, gets inebriated and goes to lie down in a spare bedroom. When his son goes to check on him a few hours later, he finds him dead, murdered by someone wielding a garrote.
A few days later, the ghost of Thorndyke makes an appearance and scares several guests over a period of time. Afraid of losing business the management of the hotel calls in Professor John Darnel who has gained a reputation for debunking ghosts and other so-called supernatural creatures. When he discovers who the ghost is and why he is “haunting” the hotel, he finds his job is not over because a second murder has occurred and the police take John with them to help find a cold blooded killer.
The ambiance of Paris just after the World War I seize fire is brought to life by the pen of Sam McCarver. Several well known personalities, including Ernest Hemingway play key roles in this exciting mystery. John and Penny are a remarkable sleuthing team and their actions within the confines of the plot feel very realistic. Every guest that attended the party, thirteen in all, had a secret agenda and the audience won't know who the killer is until the author chooses to reveal it in a stunning climax. Historical mystery fans will definitely enjoy this novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner