The Crumpled Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review. 

I adore historical fiction, especially one with added mystery. Unfortunately The Crumpled Letter didn't quite make it for me. The story was about a courtesan called Lola, who has just hired a disgraced governess into her household only to discover that everything she has lies in ruin and she can't afford the extravagant lifestyle she's grown accustom too. Lola is determined to find a way around her situation by any means, but when she stumbles upon the body of a girl she once knew, everything comes to a halt. Lola feels the need to discover the truth on her own. 
The plot was great, who doesn't like a good mystery? Unfortunately it lacked so much emotion. I felt the characters were all dull and without passion. Something was definitely missing to really pull me into the story. It took a while to read because I kept putting it down. It didn't draw me in the way that I would have liked.
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This cover really writes a check that the book struggles to cash -  it feels stiff and a bit jerky, but that may be a function of the translation?, and I definitely had to pull myself along to reach the end. Perhaps the series improves, but as an introduction this doesn't do as much as it could to hook the reader.
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This seemed like an interesting premise. However, there really was not much going on the novel. The story was slow and started to drag. Also, I had a hard time with the confusing narration. Still, I recommend this for fans of Jennifer Ashley.
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The book was pretty bad. I really could not finish. I don't know what else to say , but it was way too slow. I waited a while for climax or anything but got nothing.
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"The Crumpled Letter" by Alice Quinn starts with a death of a chambermaid, who is killed at the Hotel Beau Rivage, where she worked. The poor girl is then dragged outside her room and left in the garden. When her body is discovered by a courtesan Filomena Giglio (also known by her invented name as Lola Deslys) and a famous French writer Guy de Maupassant, they decide to investigate her death and find the murderer. Lola remembers the killed girl from her childhood days and is determined to undercover the truth behind her murder. 

The story is written in the first person. The narrator is Gabriella Fletcher, a disgraced English aristocrat with sapphic tendencies, that provides Lola and Guy de Maupassant with valuable help during their investigation. 

I enjoyed the historical setting of the book in 1884 in Cannes, France. It was a great idea to make the writer Guy de Maupassant one of the heroes in the story, although his character lacked depth. Maybe the author will show more of him in the next book in the series. I liked the sense of humour of the author and the playfulness of the story. It was fun to carry out the investigation with the characters and read about their financial and personal troubles. 

Unfortunately, after the first half of the book I lost connection with the characters. Maybe the novel was too long or the action too slow? It took effort to keep reading. The narrator Gabriella Fletcher felt shallow. She was supposed to be desperately in love (bordering on suicidal when she was abandoned by her lover), but then she became very quickly attracted to somebody else – this doesn’t seem to indicate deep feelings. The characters were speaking with the same voice, they seemed to have the same opinions through the book, the discussions and dialogues seemed forced, they were arguing pointlessly and their moods changed all the time without much justification. 

Also, the narration was confusing. It was in the first person, but sometimes also in the third person when the narrator related what other people told her. Sometimes I had no idea how the narrator learned about what happened. Did someone told her about it or she simply imagined it this way? It would be better if the author decided to write the book in the third person if she didn’t want to be limited to one person’s point of view. 

What’s more, the crime mystery was a little unconvincing. The dramatic events at the end of the book and big revelations were a bit too theatrical. The villains in the story were just too black and white for me. They were created without any depth and I didn’t care much about what they did and their motivation.

Still, the novel was interesting and there was certain boldness and originality in the author’s approach.

I received "The Crumpled Letter" from the publisher via NetGalley. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for providing me with the advance reader copy of the book.
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I really had high hopes for this one, but I feel like something must have been literally lost in translation with this one. I DNF at about 25%, which made me sad. Maybe I’ll try again later. Something just didn’t click for me in the first try.
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I chose this to review because I've always been fascinated by the Belle Epoque and thought I'd enjoy a mystery set in that time. It's a great premise but the execution falls flat. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I really wanted to like this book. Beautiful cover, just not a good mystery😢I kept reading until 70% or so, it just didn't get any better, though I kept hoping. I just can't recommend this book😕😕
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley.
All opinions are my own.
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A fallen upper class woman, a prostitute, and an author in Cannes investigate the murder of a chambermaid. The potential was there, but it was muddied by one character’s infatuation with another, yet seeming jealousy of another, and an “investigation” that was a bit too convenient. This is the beginning of a trilogy and perhaps further investigations in the next two novels will be sturdier but this one fell flat. I continued reading hoping for a turning point, but finished feeling unsatisfied. 

Thank you NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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"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?"

The South of France!?! A disgraced governess? A famous writer giving advice on crime solving? Who read my mind as to a book with all the elements I wanted to read?
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This book has a wonderful premise, but I felt it fell down on the execution of it. I wanted to like this bok, but the characters felt flat, and the storyline wasn't as great as it could have been. 

I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of it.
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The Crumpled Letter drew me in with the beautiful cover art and the potential for a great setting (Cannes and the Belle Epoque time period) and cast of characters (the author Guy de Maupassant and a courtesan named Lola), but sadly character development was lacking and I found myself not caring about the characters. I did finish the book as I was hoping through to the end that things would get better. It was an easy read and was just OK.
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The Crumpled Letter has an intriguing premise, involving History and the investigations of a murder and the hunt for its killer, but failed on a main point when it comes to plots of the type: it did not connect me to the characters.

As much as the setting of Cannes and the time - 1884 - was fascinating, the kind that makes you want to move on with the reading, I did not care about your main characters. And then, to be willing to continue, not even the mystery investigated was able to hook me.

The only reason the note is a little bigger is because of the setting. As I mentioned, it is very descriptive and playful with the times. It works to transport you into the scenery, makes you believe that you really are there, living that story. A pity that he has failed to develop his characters; with them, it would have been a much more interesting book.
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An intriguing premise- a historical mystery set in Cannes with a cameo from Guy duMaupassant-but it didn't follow through for me.  Lola and Miss Fletcher are the odd couple investigating team but their personalities are not vibrant.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC and to Amazon for bringing books in translation to the US.
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Not as good as I thought it was going to be.  The description was great but once I got into it, it was.slow going and somewhat predictable.  I had such high hopes but it didn't pan out.  Well, at least I tried.
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This novel was an interesting concept but fell short. I found that I did not care about the main characters. You have the disgraced narrator (Miss Fletcher) who is infatuated with her new boss, Madame Deslys, a high class prostitute. They befriend Guy de Maupassant and investigate the death of a childhood friend.

I did not find the prostitute story line very interesting. I thought it detracted from the investigation and instead allowed for coincidence after coincidence to occur in the plot. I try to find someone that I would suggest a book to but I can't with this one.
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A historical mystery, set in Cannes 1884  sounded good from the premise and when I read it was translated from the French I thought this would a nice twist on it. Don’;t think I’ve read a French historical mystery like this and it was a treat to visit The Belle Epoque in all its glory.

It was quite a simple and straight forward murder though but the added bonus was the inclusion of a certain Guy de Maupassant and those literary links were sprinkled around the book which did help enhance its French appeal and the time and place. I felt the first person here didn’t really work for me, as I couldn’t get to grips with  Lola for some reason. She wasn’t that likeable but her adventures to track down the killer with the help of Gabriella did take them both onto some enjoyable and at times surprising jaunts around the city of Cannes. And oh the croisette!  Any story which takes me here is going to be on my reading list. It seems to have changed from Cannes today, but it was really interesting getting an insight into the 1880s as it was becoming the city it is today.
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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.
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The Crumpled Letter is a historical mystery, set in Cannes 1884 - where a chambermaid of a hotel is murdered and discovered by a courtesan, Lola. Lola seeks help to solve this murder from Miss Gabrielle Fletcher, a currently disgraced governess. 
I like historical fiction mixed with mystery, especially if the characters are from "downstairs". The setting was rather lovely, but sadly I couldn't make myself care for the characters. Overall, an "okay" read.
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Over the course of the day I have read  several pages of this book trying to get into it. The opening was great and I thought, "Heck yeah, this is going to fit into the types of books I've been reading." But then, then we cut to the main character and I found very quickly that I couldn't stand her. I generally love stories written in the first person, but her tone was so arrogant and at the same time depressing that after the third time I tried to force myself to read it I instead decided to give it up.
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