The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

Dear Fellow Reader,

August. Can it possibly be August already? While I want time to pass so I can go on vacation, I don’t want summer to go so quickly.

I seem to have taken up working in the garden this year. It has been good, and it has been frustrating. As usual, I just started without thinking about what I was doing. Just a few years ago, I remember saying that we wanted less beds around the house. We filled in one with grass. (Not entirely successfully…) And here I am this summer digging up grass to put in another bed. All in the quest to have more color in the back yard. And weeding NEVER stops, does it? And there are some more things that I would like in the yard. This is a sickness, I say!

And I have been reading. Although I have been watching the Olympics, so my reading time has been cut back drastically. Oh, next week…

This week’s book is one that I was given in exchange for my unbiased review. So here goes.

The Perfume Thief is a historical fiction book with a bit of a twist. The book takes place in Paris during the German occupation of World War II. Clementine is a 72-year-old American living in Paris. She has lived her life as a con artist. Clem, as she is called in the book, escaped to Paris and opened a perfume shop in 1930. She is known for her elegant suits, which she wears almost all the time. Despite her reservations, Clem agrees to help Zoe St. Angel find the book of recipes from Paris’s most famous perfumer. The book has disappeared. So has the perfumer but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for him because he was Jewish. To help her search, Clem befriends Oskar Voss, a Nazi officer who thinks he knows all about Paris. Voss is living in the missing perfumer’s house. In order to keep Voss’s interest, Clem tells him her life story – some of which he appears to already know. She has to appear to be helping the Nazi so that she has access to search the house. She also lightly poisons him to make him sick and more dependent on her.

The book has a vast array of characters both in Clem’s present day in Paris and in her murky past. She has been in love once in the past and that relationship had a major impact on her life. She is contacted by her lover’s daughter so she knows that the woman has died.

Is this my favorite book of the year? No. It is also far from the worst book I have read and I did read the entire book. (In contrast to a book I was looking forward to reading and only got 1/3 of the way in and stopped. Sorry, Graham Norton! No review for your latest.) Once again, I don’t think you should put it on the top of your TBR pile but if you run across it, you could enjoy it.

Thanks for reading.

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
This entry was posted in Talking Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.