Ah, Paris! Love, Romance, Books, and Danger with 'The Bookseller'

Ah, Paris! Love, Romance, Books, and Danger with 'The Bookseller'

Friday, 8 November, 2019

The right book can instantly transport you to anywhere — and anytime — in the world. Every Thursday, we recommend one of our favorite books with a strong sense of place so you can see the sights, meet remarkable people, go on exciting adventures, and feel big feelings. Bonus: You don't even have to put on pants.

This post is part of our 'Weekend Getaway' series.


This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Paris with The Bookseller: vintage bookstalls along the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, sidewalk cafés — but also Nazi hunters, drug gangs, and motorcycle assassins. The City of Lights has a (deliciously entertaining) dark side.

Meet Hugo, our rugged, steadfast hero. He’s head of security at the U.S. embassy in Paris, and while he may be a tough guy on the outside, he has the heart of a poet and is a devoted reader.

The action kicks off when Hugo sees his favorite bouquiniste kidnapped from in front of his riverside display of books. Hugo does what any self-respecting former CIA agent would: He starts poking his nose into business where some thugs are very convinced it doesn’t belong.

close-up of a small book stand along the Seine River in Paris
Photo courtesy of Henrik Berger Jørgensen

He’s aided and abetted by an old CIA buddy and a fierce French journalist named Claudia, who does her damnedest to steal Hugo’s heart. Oh! And her wealthy father just maybe has something to do with the bookseller’s disappearance.

The dazzling city of Paris is a starring character in the drama, and its history nicely mirrors Hugo’s own personal turmoil and heartbreak. Plus, there are so many books: rare volumes and paperbacks and libraries and bookstalls.

Reading is always sexy, and in Paris, it’s even sexier.

If peace had a smell, it would be the smell of a library full of old, leather-bound books. — Mark Pryor

The Bookseller

by Mark Pryor

This bookish thriller (303 pages) was published in October of 2012 by Simon and Schuster. The book takes you to a thrilling version of Paris. Melissa read The Bookseller and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.

The Bookseller: The First Hugo Marston Novel


Top image courtesy of Isaiah Bekkers.

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