Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marie Antoinnette Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger.

With a title like Marie Antoinnette Serial Killer there was a lot of potential for cheese in the story. Instead, what I found was a well-written and interesting, fun romp through Paris. I seem to be on a bit of a ghost story kick right now and this book fit in very nicely. Both a modern day and historical mystery, Marie Antoinnette Serial Killer was finished in one delightful sitting.  I enjoyed the development of the characters - nothing in their descriptions wasted. The history of the French Revolution was a major plot point and was described with a liveliness and personality not always found in history records. Alender takes the reader on an intimate tour of Paris where you can almost feel the textures of the stone walls and feel the breeze as you navigate the narrow streets.

This is another title taken from our Scholastic book fair and because of the title the subject matter and once again a mature sticker on the book there was some question as to whether or not it was appropriate for the intermediate students. I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that this book is captivating and well written and one that I can easily recommend to my students. 

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