One of nine Paris-based mysteries by author Peggy Kopman-Owens published by Aventura eBooks Limited, London, UK 


"Zack waited outside the Épicier, until movement on the third floor of the building two doors away caught his eye.  Someone was reaching in front of a lace curtain to insert a sign.  “Rats!”  Now, everyone in Paris would know where the hidden treasure was located.  The Appartement Louer sign was upside down, but he could translate it, even if doing so meant standing on his head. “

Apartment for Rent
2 Rooms – 28 square meters
Third Floor without elevator
Inquire – Grocer

“Paris was a property owner's paradise, a place where renters far exceeded the inventory of apartments.  Yes.  There were less expensive places in the world to live, but Zack’s heart was set on a place of his own in the 6th Arrondissement.  Yes, it did matter that it was in this particular neighborhood, where Gertrude Stein had lived, and Hemingway had walked.  

As he anxiously waited for the Épicerie to open, he could admit it.  He was an American, one of those Americans, but he longed to become a Parisian.  Parisians did not surrender to artificial rules and regulations.  They tolerated, ignored or cursed them, but, they never surrendered to them.  French bureaucracy had its place, but that place was inside a government building, not inside an apartment building - where the villagers could make up their own set of rules.  

Zack would have to handle the matter of renting this apartment very delicately.  He had already learned that asking too many questions was only asking for trouble.  Here, the hidden cost would be revealed in the strange expressions on the faces of the other villagers.  Why had the beautiful young French woman been so willing to offer a perfect stranger, an American, her apartment and one month free rent?  

If only he had paid attention in French class.  Was “fouineur” French slang for journalist?  What was he missing in translation, and in the odd behavior of his neighbors?  It was a mystery, which demanded investigation, but was the secret worth risking eviction? ”

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