About The Book:
INTRIGUE AND DEATH IN PARIS
An old lover brings a cryptic letter to Paris, pulling Eddie Grant reluctantly into a treacherous web of intrigue and death — but giving him a slim chance to find the terrorists who murdered his family seven years before.
It launches him on a dangerous quest through Paris and the Loire Valley for the most valuable piece of Nazi loot that remains missing, a famous Raphael self-portrait from the early 16th century, along with the crates of Nazi bullion that accompanied it — all intended to finance the Fourth Reich.
Jen Wetzmuller, daughter of his father’s World War II colleague in Army Intelligence, arrives in Paris, bearing a letter she found after he father was run down by a car on the streets of Sarasota. Its clues take Eddie from his Paris home to Florida, where he works to solve the mystery, barely escaping with his life. Then it’s back home to burrow into the darkest reaches of the German occupation in search of the treasure.
Along the way he and Jen restart the brief, fiercely passionate affair that he abandoned, to his regret, 20 years before Sarasota.
Most of all, Treasure of Saint-Lazare is a novel about Paris.
I first became interested in the Nazis’ looted art when I worked as a journalist in Washington and Europe, covering economic affairs for The Associated Press and the International Herald Tribune. Now and then I’d find a story about long-lost art, and I kept files that turned out to be useful in developing the plot of Treasure of Saint-Lazare.
I didn’t have a clear idea of how to pursue that interest until a few years ago, when the plot crystallized during the endless hours I was forced to sit in a darkened room recovering from an eye injury.
I knew from the first the story would center on Paris, my favorite among all cities, but it took a lot of thinking to create the main French characters: Philippe the policeman, Aurélie his daughter and Eddie’s one-time lover, and Jacques the old art thief, who luckily was still around in 2008 to provide some of the key evidence Eddie needed. Eric and Erich, villains extraordinaires, are a recognizable part of the Nazi epoch.