Die Around Sundown is the first in a new mystery series about Henri Lefort, a French detective in German-occupied Paris. After impressing Princess Mimi Bonaparte during a burglary investigation, Lefort is promoted to the murder division. Unfortunately, his first assignment is to find out who killed a German officer inside the Louvre. An unreasonable German commander gives him a list of suspects but forbids him from entering the museum to investigate. The commander will have Lefort executed around sundown if the crime is not solved within five days.
The author, Mark Pryor, uses a clever plot device to introduce us to Lefort’s back story. After her spacious home is taken over by the Nazis, Mimi Bonaparte moves into an empty apartment just below Lefort. Having trained under Sigmund Freud, Mimi convinces the detective to undergo psychoanalysis. During the sessions, Lefort tells of his time as a World War I soldier and gradually reveals his past.
Lefort is witty, clever, and uncompromising. He has a unique connection to his very smart assistant, Nicola. Her knowledge of the art world helps him crack the case so he can live another day. As a historical fiction fan, I enjoyed the setting of 1940 Paris.
4-plus stars. I am looking forward to reading this series. Many thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for my advanced reader copy. This novel will be released on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.