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The Shattered Portrait

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When one of the wealthiest and most hated men on the French Riviera is murdered, finding his killer becomes a privilege—and a danger. It’s a Mediterranean winter in 1888. Though Cannes glistens, it’s darker behind closed doors. A real estate crisis has ripped through the city’s storied fortunes, upending lives. Courtesan Lola Deslys has survived the ruins unscathed…until sh When one of the wealthiest and most hated men on the French Riviera is murdered, finding his killer becomes a privilege—and a danger. It’s a Mediterranean winter in 1888. Though Cannes glistens, it’s darker behind closed doors. A real estate crisis has ripped through the city’s storied fortunes, upending lives. Courtesan Lola Deslys has survived the ruins unscathed…until she’s drawn into the desperation of a former, and unfaithful, acquaintance. With the threat of debtors’ prison hanging over her head, Lola’s latest client is running out of time and luck. Her client has solicited Lola to reclaim an incriminating contract from the ruthless banker at the heart of the crisis. Many want to see the swindler dead, and when he’s found murdered, everyone is a suspect—including one of Lola’s closest friends. The only clue to finding the real killer: a shattered portrait. The only hope: to follow its pieces through the back alleys and deadly deceptions of the belle époque.


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When one of the wealthiest and most hated men on the French Riviera is murdered, finding his killer becomes a privilege—and a danger. It’s a Mediterranean winter in 1888. Though Cannes glistens, it’s darker behind closed doors. A real estate crisis has ripped through the city’s storied fortunes, upending lives. Courtesan Lola Deslys has survived the ruins unscathed…until sh When one of the wealthiest and most hated men on the French Riviera is murdered, finding his killer becomes a privilege—and a danger. It’s a Mediterranean winter in 1888. Though Cannes glistens, it’s darker behind closed doors. A real estate crisis has ripped through the city’s storied fortunes, upending lives. Courtesan Lola Deslys has survived the ruins unscathed…until she’s drawn into the desperation of a former, and unfaithful, acquaintance. With the threat of debtors’ prison hanging over her head, Lola’s latest client is running out of time and luck. Her client has solicited Lola to reclaim an incriminating contract from the ruthless banker at the heart of the crisis. Many want to see the swindler dead, and when he’s found murdered, everyone is a suspect—including one of Lola’s closest friends. The only clue to finding the real killer: a shattered portrait. The only hope: to follow its pieces through the back alleys and deadly deceptions of the belle époque.

30 review for The Shattered Portrait

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    The Shattered Portrait was a bit of an unusual read for me.  Although it is a murder mystery, it takes place in the Victorian era and is written with the atmosphere of the times at its heart.  There are a lot of flamboyant characters and complex relationships with a who-dun-it mystery at the center.  I enjoyed the environment of the story more than the murder mystery.  There were a few times where I was quite frustrated with Lola and her need to be at the center of things.  There are also a lot The Shattered Portrait was a bit of an unusual read for me.  Although it is a murder mystery, it takes place in the Victorian era and is written with the atmosphere of the times at its heart.  There are a lot of flamboyant characters and complex relationships with a who-dun-it mystery at the center.  I enjoyed the environment of the story more than the murder mystery.  There were a few times where I was quite frustrated with Lola and her need to be at the center of things.  There are also a lot of characters each with their own unique motive.  One of the twists I did see coming but the other I did not.  That's the sign of a well written thriller to me, some mysteries you can solve but equally some red herrings to throw you off. I would say the story was a bit like a game of Clue set in the time of the movie Moulin Rouge. Some glitz, glamour and social subterfuge with sassy characters including some women who were strong in a time where they were expected to be demure.  The story and writing style reminded me a lot of Gail Carringer's Parasol Protectorate Series without the supernatural elements. I also like that although I hadn't read the first in this series, I could jump right in without feeling lost. That said, I will go back and read the first since I enjoyed this one so much!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I wanted to like this one, I really really did. I don't know what was missing for me, but I just couldn't get into it. It took me a long time to even make it over halfway. I'll probably come back to it in a year or so and try it again, but for right now, this book was not a great one for me. Lola was fun, and I loved her wit, but beyond that, I just kept getting stuck. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book to review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Despite this being the second book in the Belle Epoque Mystery books, it didn't matter that i had not read the first. It's not often that i can read a book within a day, but i so enjoyed that i did on this occasion. A well written murder mystery that i can recommend. I hope to read more books by Alice Quinn. My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review which i have voluntarily given.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Stars This is the second book in the Belle Epoque Mystery series by Alice Quinn. This is a fascinating historical cozy mystery is set in Cannes, France. The author went to a lot of effort to make this book uber realistic for us even going to the places mentioned and making sure where they were going made sense and was indeed possible during the time frame. In this installment, Lola’s young ward, Anna, has been accused of a real estate mogul’s death and Lola Deslys and Gabriella Fletcher are on 4.5 Stars This is the second book in the Belle Epoque Mystery series by Alice Quinn. This is a fascinating historical cozy mystery is set in Cannes, France. The author went to a lot of effort to make this book uber realistic for us even going to the places mentioned and making sure where they were going made sense and was indeed possible during the time frame. In this installment, Lola’s young ward, Anna, has been accused of a real estate mogul’s death and Lola Deslys and Gabriella Fletcher are on the case. But all is not what it seems. Another mystery thread pairs Lola with Lady Sarah to uncover some damming papers the real estate mogul, Henri has in his possession that incriminate her. Sarah asks Lola to steal the papers for her. This book continues with the wonderful captivating mystery elements and the exciting relationships between characters. It all just jumps off the page. This is a well-written historical cozy mystery that I totally recommend to everyone. Definitely check it out if you are a fan of historical cozy mysteries I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Claire Saim

    J'attendais ce livre avec une grande impatience étant donné que j'avais dévoré le tome 1. Quand Alice Quinn m'a invitée à le découvrir avant sa sortie sur NetGalley, j'ai tout laissé tomber pour me précipiter dessus. Et je n'ai pas été déçue. L'histoire reprend quatre ans après les événements du premier tome. On retrouve le séduisant Guy de Maupassant, toujours aussi galant et mystérieux. Cette fois-ci il va venir en aide à Lola qui va être touchée au coeur. Quand on touche à ceux qu'elle aime, J'attendais ce livre avec une grande impatience étant donné que j'avais dévoré le tome 1. Quand Alice Quinn m'a invitée à le découvrir avant sa sortie sur NetGalley, j'ai tout laissé tomber pour me précipiter dessus. Et je n'ai pas été déçue. L'histoire reprend quatre ans après les événements du premier tome. On retrouve le séduisant Guy de Maupassant, toujours aussi galant et mystérieux. Cette fois-ci il va venir en aide à Lola qui va être touchée au coeur. Quand on touche à ceux qu'elle aime, elle se révèle une vraie tigresse. L'intrigue est passionnante et l'on a du mal à quitter le livre une fois commencé. J'ai adoré retrouver l'ambiance de Cannes à la Belle Epoque, avec ses petits mots typiques du patois provençal, cette ambiance de renouveau, la modernité qui pénètre peu à peu le quotidien, et en même temps cette nostalgie de l'Ancien... On en apprend beaucoup plus sur les personnages, notamment sur le rapport au père, que ce soit pour Lola, mais aussi pour Miss Fletcher. J'avais sans arrêt hâte de lire la suite et en même temps j'appréhendais d'arriver à la fin trop vite... Maintenant, j'ai hâte de lire le tome 3, mais en même temps ce sera la fin de la trilogie... Dommage !

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angélita Manchado

    Résumé Le portrait brisé Une enquête à la Belle-Epoque tome 2 d’Alice Quinn Lola et Miss Fletcher sont heureuses. Elles se rendent à la gare accueillir leur ami Guy de Maupassant. Dans ce lieu, elles assistent à une dispute entre un banquier, très en vue, à Cannes et un homme qui a tout perdu à cause de lui. Avis Le portrait brisé Une enquête à la Belle-Epoque tome 2 d’Alice Quinn Quel bonheur de retrouver Lola, Miss Fletcher, Maupassant, Rosalie, Anna ! Un véritable régal avec la plume de plus en p Résumé Le portrait brisé Une enquête à la Belle-Epoque tome 2 d’Alice Quinn Lola et Miss Fletcher sont heureuses. Elles se rendent à la gare accueillir leur ami Guy de Maupassant. Dans ce lieu, elles assistent à une dispute entre un banquier, très en vue, à Cannes et un homme qui a tout perdu à cause de lui. Avis Le portrait brisé Une enquête à la Belle-Epoque tome 2 d’Alice Quinn Quel bonheur de retrouver Lola, Miss Fletcher, Maupassant, Rosalie, Anna ! Un véritable régal avec la plume de plus en plus aguerrie d’Alice Quinn qui nous emmène dans le Cannes de la fin du XIXème siècle. Un Cannes que l’on peut découvrir. Une enquête, certes, à laquelle sont mêlés les héros de l’histoire, mais une véritable dimension historique. Si dans l’opus précédent, il était question du sort des orphelins dans la région cannoise, ce deuxième tome nous entraîne au niveau spéculation bancaire et faillites personnelles et professionnelles de nombre de personnes. Il faut croire que les gens n’apprennent pas des erreurs de leurs aînés. Quand il y a de l’argent à faire, ce sont les plus forts qui gagnent et ils sont peu nombreux. Ils laissent sur le carreau de nombreuses personnes et s’en moquent totalement. Tant pis pour ceux qui ont tout perdu, qui se suicident, ce n’est pas de la faute de ceux qui s’en sont sortis. Même si ces derniers ont de plus en plus d’ennemis. Ce roman traite également de la condition de ces personnes qui ont des problèmes psychologiques ou psychiatriques. Ils sont enfermés soit disant pour leur bien, pour qu’ils essaient de guérir. Mais les traitements sont tout sauf humains. La psychiatrie, de nos jours, a évolué mais en France, elle souffre toujours de ce qui a été réalisé il y a de nombreuses années. On enferme nos parents pour diverses raisons, souvent parce que cela ne correspond pas à notre rang. On veut éviter les scandales, ni plus ni moins. Voilà, c’est la partie historique du roman. Passons aux personnages. On les retrouve quatre ans après le premier tome. Lola, Miss Fletcher, Rosalie et Anna vivent toutes les quatre ensemble. Elles s’entendent assez bien. Anna bénéficie d’une bonne éducation. Mais comme Lola est une jeune femme entretenue, elle n’est pas acceptée par la bonne société cannoise. Chacun doit rester à sa place, même si Lola fait des dons de plus en plus conséquents. Elle n’est pas acceptée dans les hautes sphères même si elle connaît des personnalités connues. On en apprendra un peu plus sur le passé de Miss Fletcher et de Lola. C’est Miss Fletcher qui raconte l’histoire. Entre les deux, même s’il y a beaucoup de confiance, elles ont le sentiment que des éléments sont cachés. En premier, ce que ressent Miss Fletcher pour Lola. Et lorsque Lola accepte une mission donnée par l’ancienne amante de Miss Fletcher, ce sera comme si cette dernière revenait des années en arrière. Mais très vite, un évènement va leur permettre de ressouder le clan. Et cela concerne Anna. Car Anna va apprendre qui est réellement Lola et ce qu’elle fait. Elle ne l’acceptera pas. Elle se sentira flouée. De plus, Anna va découvrir assez vite qui elle est réellement. Et un meurtre la désignera très vite comme la principale suspecte et la coupable. Mais c’est sans compter les deux femmes et leur allié, Maupassant. Ils vont tout faire pour disculper la jeune adolescente, quitte à se mettre dans de situations improbables. Grâce aux indices récoltés, le lecteur sait très vite à quoi s’attendre. Cela n’enlève toutefois rien à la qualité de ce roman, au plaisir réel de la lecture que j’ai pu ressentir. J’ai encore une fois adoré les personnages d’Alice Quinn. J’ai comme eu l’impression d’avoir retrouvé des amies, des amis. Alice Quinn finit avec un élément qui va servir au prochain tome. Je n’ai qu’une chose à dire, il me tarde de le lire. Je remercie Netgalley et les Editions Amazon Publishing pour cette lecture.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jean Kolinofsky

    A real estate disaster in late 1800s Cannes provides the backdrop for Alice Quinn’s The Shattered Portrait. Lola Deslys, a well-known courtesan, is hired by Lady Clarence to steal her loan agreement from the hated banker Henri Cousin. She is under threat by her husband to send her to an asylum rather than face disgrace in court. With the help of her assistant Miss Fletcher and her young ward Anna she pulls off the theft.. in the process, Cousin pays particular attention to Anna and Lola fears hi A real estate disaster in late 1800s Cannes provides the backdrop for Alice Quinn’s The Shattered Portrait. Lola Deslys, a well-known courtesan, is hired by Lady Clarence to steal her loan agreement from the hated banker Henri Cousin. She is under threat by her husband to send her to an asylum rather than face disgrace in court. With the help of her assistant Miss Fletcher and her young ward Anna she pulls off the theft.. in the process, Cousin pays particular attention to Anna and Lola fears his intentions. When Cousin is murdered, the evidence points to Anna’s involvement. The police have their suspect so it is up to Lola to prove her innocence. Anna insists that Cousin’s actions were honorable and refuses to co-operate with Lola. It is not until Miss Fletcher discovers a hidden portrait that gives the first clue to Anna’s true family history, a story that was known to Cousin. His attachment to Anna posed a threat to others, including Dr. Vidal, whose asylum was supported by Cousin, and his nephew, a disturbed young man who stood to inherit his wealth. Quinn presents a solid mystery with a number of surprises. Her characters are well developed and reflect the different levels of French society at the time. While Lola is generally shunned by society, she is assisted by the writer Guy de Maupassant, who plays a significant role in the story. This is the second book in Quinn’s series and fans of historical mysteries will find themselves looking forward to future adventures with Lola and Miss Fletcher. I would like to thank NetGalley and Amazon Crossing for providing this book for my review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sylvaine Yvenou

    Le portrait brisé Alice Quinn Amazon Publishing France avril 2019 #leportraitbrisé #NetGalleyFrance Que du plaisir vraiment. 1888, Cannes. La crise immobilière a frappé de plein fouet nombre de spéculateurs immobiliers audacieux et imprudents. le seul à se réjouir est le banquier Cousin. Cannes est devenue une ville à la mode fréquentée par le gratin de la bonne société et bien sure "squattée" par des demi-mondaines. Lola est l'une de ces jeunes femmes sortie de la misère en quête d'ascension socia Le portrait brisé Alice Quinn Amazon Publishing France avril 2019 #leportraitbrisé #NetGalleyFrance Que du plaisir vraiment. 1888, Cannes. La crise immobilière a frappé de plein fouet nombre de spéculateurs immobiliers audacieux et imprudents. le seul à se réjouir est le banquier Cousin. Cannes est devenue une ville à la mode fréquentée par le gratin de la bonne société et bien sure "squattée" par des demi-mondaines. Lola est l'une de ces jeunes femmes sortie de la misère en quête d'ascension sociale.Or même si elle a beaucoup d'amis elle n'est pas tolérée dans le cercle fermé des gens biens. Malgré la présence réconfortante de sa gouvernante Miss Fletcher et de son ami inconditionnel Guy de Maupassant elle ne rêve que de fréquenter la bonne société. Elle a pris sous son aile une jeune orpheline Anna qu'elle élève comme sa fille. les évènements vont cependant se précipiter et la menace de voir Anna condamnée à tort pour meurtre se précise d'heure en heure. Notre trio de choc parviendra t'il a élucider le meurtre et ainsi à sauver Anna? Ce roman écrit de belle façon nous plonge dans la vie à la belle-époque. Cannes sert d'écrin à une histoire habilement ficelée et l'idée de plonger Maupassant au coeur de l'enquête est bien amenée aussi incongrue peut elle paraitre au premier abord. Alors n'hésitez pas , plongez dans ce roman il ne peut que vous plaire. Un très grand merci aux éditions Amazon Publishing France pour ce partage apprécié.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zuzu Burford

    Just the way a murder mystery should be written with great characters both good and bad, twists and turns with the plot that has one guessing right up to the finish. Taking place at Cannes in the late 1800's we have a famous author high society madam middle aged lesbian together sifting through the evidence to track down the evasive villain that leads to an exciting climax. What more could one ask for. Read and enjoy a wonderful murder mystery by a talented author. An independent review thanks to N Just the way a murder mystery should be written with great characters both good and bad, twists and turns with the plot that has one guessing right up to the finish. Taking place at Cannes in the late 1800's we have a famous author high society madam middle aged lesbian together sifting through the evidence to track down the evasive villain that leads to an exciting climax. What more could one ask for. Read and enjoy a wonderful murder mystery by a talented author. An independent review thanks to NetGalley / Amazon Crossing

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This is the first book I've "read" with Alexa reading it to me on Kindle. I was impressed with the technology, but I do wonder whether my enjoyment was enhanced or hindered. It is possible that this is simply not "my kind" of book. The story was written well enough, but the plot was not that engrossing and it just wasn't that interesting to me. I have to give the author credit, however, for how painstakingly she researched and presented a plausible tale. I appreciate writers who dedicate their t This is the first book I've "read" with Alexa reading it to me on Kindle. I was impressed with the technology, but I do wonder whether my enjoyment was enhanced or hindered. It is possible that this is simply not "my kind" of book. The story was written well enough, but the plot was not that engrossing and it just wasn't that interesting to me. I have to give the author credit, however, for how painstakingly she researched and presented a plausible tale. I appreciate writers who dedicate their time to entertaining me; this just wasn't that engrossing for my tastes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I wanted to like this one, I really really did. I don't know what was missing for me, but I just couldn't get into it. It took me a long time to even make it over halfway. I'll probably come back to it in a year or so and try it again, but for right now, this book was not a great one for me. Lola was fun, and I loved her wit, but beyond that, I just kept getting stuck.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    I feel like I missed out on a few things by not reading the first book, but not too much. The investigating could have been a little better. Overall I enjoyed the book. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    So when is the last book of this trilogy coming... I hope the final chapter in this series comes soon as I can't wait to find out what happens to the characters I have come to love. Happy reading!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    It's a good historical mystery that flows and keeps you hooked. The cast of characters is interesting and the mystery solid. I liked the vivid and well researched historical background. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Lola is a courtesan who lives in Cannes in the 1800’s.She is blackmailed into finding the killer of a much hated swindler. Fast moving whodunnit.Interesting look into like in Cannes then. Thankyou Netgalley for this ARC

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    This is the story of a courtsean who is gets entangled in the search for a killer in the 1800's. I found this book to be very eventful and a good read. I highly enjoyed this different take on a historical novel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pat Lombardini

  18. 5 out of 5

    desmond jewison

  19. 5 out of 5

    alison allitt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eole

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jean Scott Douglas

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annette

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma Monasch

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Verburgt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann Brooks

  27. 4 out of 5

    elyse ward

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ronald hunter

  29. 5 out of 5

    Denise V Blackmore

  30. 4 out of 5

    mehrunnisa petker

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