The Crumpled Letter (Belle Epoque Mystery #1) by Alice Quinn #bookreview #historical #mystery

Title: The Crumpled Letter

Author: Alice Quinn

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Page Count: 382

My rating: 2 1/2 stars

About the book:

On the French Riviera during the Belle Epoque, a murder draws two women into the dangerous shadows of Europe’s privileged elite…

One spring evening in 1884, beautiful young courtesan Lola Deslys discovers the lifeless body of a chambermaid hidden in the gardens of the Hôtel Beau Rivage in Cannes. Even more distressing is that Lola knows the girl well. When the inquiry into her murder fails to reveal a single substantial clue, Lola is persuaded by novelist Guy de Maupassant to delve into the case on her own.

Eager to exert her independence and defy conventions, Lola agrees. But she needs help in her investigation, and there’s no better partner in her pursuit—however unlikely—than Miss Gabriella Fletcher, a highborn, well-educated, and currently disgraced English governess.

To solve this dreadful crime, Lola and Miss Fletcher must navigate the depths of respectable society. But will their determination suffice in a city where fortune, secrets, men, and appearances reign supreme?


Well, The Crumpled Letter by Alice Quinn is probably another book that I knew I should have passed on but was suckered into from the beautiful cover. This is the first book of a historical mystery series that isn’t bad overall but just not for me.

The story is set in Cannes in the 1880s and follows a girl named Lola Deslys who happens upon the body of a chambermaid. Now Lola can tell just from the placement of the body that this was no accident at all but meant to try to hide a murder and Lola knows just who the victim is.

When it seems that a murderer is going to go free and there doesn’t seem to be any clues Lola is persuaded by Guy de Maupassant to look into the case herself. Lola finds that she will need help however and looks to her friend Gabriella to help her solve the murder.

Now I’ve mentioned on occasion I’m not a huge reader of historical fiction and usually what catches my attention the most is when it’s centered around real events but seeing this seemed a bit like a cozy I thought I would try it anyway. My biggest concern for me with this is I had a terrible time trying to connect with the characters. I also just thought this one was too slow paced and lacked a decent flow to the story which I question if my troubles are due to this being originally in French and translated to English, sometimes those don’t draw me in so normally I would skip them. Regardless, I’m sure some readers will enjoy this one it just wasn’t for me.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Alice Quinn lives on the French Riviera, surrounded by her family and cats. After achieving great success with the Rosie Maldonne mystery series, featuring Queen of the MasqueradeQueen of the Hide Out, and Queen of the Trailer Park—which was a #1 bestseller in France—she changed her register and plunged with delight into historical intrigue in Cannes in the Belle Epoque, an era full of intriguing contrasts. The Crumpled Letter is the first novel in her Belle Epoque Mystery trilogy. For more information about the author, visit her at

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