Netflix has been taken over by the hit television show Emily in Paris, following an American luxury marketing whiz and her relocation to Paris, France—and all the quirkiness that ensues. We love a Parisian backdrop. The sprawling buildings, the air pregnant with history and magic. We’re ready for any and all stories set in lovely Paris.
Anyone who has watched the show will tell you Emily’s journey is hopeful and bright with an almost whimsical tone. But what if her relocation didn’t result in such enchanting encounters? We’ve rounded up four mystery & thriller books set in France. Each follows a protagonist searching for answers and maybe a fresh start but getting far more than they bargained for. These mysteries & thrillers tell a much different story of Paris—a darker one—and we’re here for it.
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up—to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this?—he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…
Alive. Trust no one.
Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.
As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…
James Patterson; Maxine Paetro
After investigating multiple homicides and her family’s decades-old skeletons in the closet, Tandy Angel is finally reunited with her lost love in Paris. But as he grows increasingly distant, she is confronted with disturbing questions about him, as well as what really happened to her long-dead sister. With no way to tell anymore who in her life she can trust, how will Tandy ever get to the bottom of the countless secrets her parents kept from her?
While not technically set in Paris, we'd be remiss not to include this novel written by bestselling French author Guillaume Musso. Twenty-five years ago, on a campus paralyzed by a snowstorm, beautiful 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell ran away with her philosophy teacher after they began a secret affair. For Vinca, “love is everything or nothing.”
She is never seen again.
The once inseparable Manon, Thomas and Maxime—Vinca’s best friends—have not spoken since graduation. Twenty-five years earlier, under terrible circumstances, the three of them committed a murder and buried the body in the gymnasium wall, the same wall that is about to be demolished to make way for an ultramodern new building.
Now, the three friends are about to meet again at their reunion. Will decades of lies unravel to reveal what really happened on that deadly winter night?