It's no secret that I adore YA literature, or that I have a thing for murder mysteries. So it's no surprise that I couldn't resist a supernatural YA murder mystery set in France. That and the gorgeous cover led me to pick up Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender on a recent trip to the bookstore.
Heads will roll! Paris, France: a city of fashion, chocolate croissants, and cute boys. Colette Iselin is thrilled be there for the first time, on her spring break class trip. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place around the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours the sights, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks like Marie Antoinette. Colette knows her status-obsessed friends won't believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they discover that the murder victims are all descendants of people who ultimately brought about Marie Antoinette's beheading. The queen's ghost has been awakened, and now she's wreaking her bloodthirsty revenge. And Colette may just be one of those descendants . . . which means she might not make it out of this trip alive.
First impression? Love! This was the perfect book for curling up with a mug of cocoa after a long day. The descriptions of France, especially the food, had me closing my eyes to soak up the atmosphere. I've been on a French food kick ever since. I also particularly enjoyed how Katie was able to imbue modern-day France with an air of centuries old supernatural flair. The transitions between the two created the perfect amount of tension.
While the mystery itself wasn't packed with twists and turns, watching Colette come into her own as she navigated an increasingly complex situation was key to her character development. Starting out frozen at the thought of deviating from her popular friends she finds her voice as the novel progresses, and while the conclusion felt a little abrupt for my liking Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a worthy and enjoyable read.
Some favorite quotes...
"They resumed their conversation, Hannah glancing around the room, collecting bits of other people's envy like seashells." - Page 76
"Ah, but that's not me. That's France. Perhaps that's why I want to be a historian - so that I can become more interesting by knowing things about the past" - Page 175
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
Pick it up for a fun weekend read, especially if you love all things France.