Monday, December 4, 2017

What I'm Reading: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan + a Giveaway

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Karen Swan's The Paris Secret.

Apologies, readers, my work load has been such that I haven't been able to finish reading this one, much as I've been dying to! So rather than my usual homemade synopsis, here's a bit about the book from Goodreads:

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying Fine Art Agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to asses these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and just who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren't all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family's affairs - but just what is he hiding?

A few years ago, a story broke about an abandoned apartment in Paris packed full of art and other sundries. The apartment had been locked up since WWII and untouched until three years after the owner's death. And of course upon hearing the story I was immediately intrigued. (You can read bit about it here.) And I wasn't the only one, Karen Swan was inspired by that very same story in writing The Paris Secret

With the exception of a few details, Swan's imaginings of the story behind the apartment are much different than the reality. The story is set around Flora Sykes, who has been brought in to research and determine the value of items discovered within the apartment. The daughter of a former chief auctioneer at Christie's, Flora has art in her blood. But Flora doesn't really expect to find any real treasures. And yet, that's pretty much exactly what she finds! And the stories behind those treasures...

At one point, Flora muses over the fact that no one ever discovered the apartment was abandoned in all the time before it was opened. It's a thought I had as well - the building (real and fictional) must have had excellent security! In fact, the boon begins with the apartment being broken into (again different from the real story, which I understand was that the owner's death prompted opening of the apartment). 

I love Swan's version. I love the rich and vibrant details of the story and the art. And I love the mystery she's built around an already fascinating tale, making it completely her own!

And now for the giveaway! I've got one copy to give away to one lucky reader here. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, December 18. Open US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Karen Swan you can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


traveler said...

Thanks for this captivating and fascinating feature and giveaway which interests me greatly. The setting, history and story sound memorable.

Suzy said...

Just was looking at this book over the weekend at B&N and it sounded so good.

Terry said...

This book sounds like a winner and definitely the type of book I like to read. I have added it to by TBR list. Thanks for the great blog post letting me know about this book.

Dianna said...

It's so interesting when a masterpiece is revealed to have been in someone's home for years. This book sounds fascinating.

John Smith said...

I love anything involving the art world and Paris! This sounds like fun!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this book - the story in the news a while back really captured my imagination.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!