Monday, July 23, 2012


Vastly Entertaining

….Author Gerald Jay has taken the threads of the police procedural, the spy novel, and French charm and woven them into a vastly entertaining read. Mazarelle is a big bear of a man who smokes a special blend (Philosophe) of tobacco in his pipe, enjoys a midday cognac, and eats his favorite meals at the Café Valon. Although he believes he's not in the ranks of literary sleuths the like of Maigret or Poirot because his powers of intuition are much greater than his powers of observation, he is known as "the Swiss Army knife of detectives." One of the things he insists upon when given command of the investigation is the power of handpicking his detectives, and it's fascinating to see how he chooses them. During the selection, I felt as though there was one detective in particular that was a weak link, and it was interesting to see if my deduction was correct.

Molly Reece adds a strong yet naïve element to the cast of characters, although her intelligence and intuition seems to fade in and out as the story progresses. Klaus Reiner is one of the more interesting villains I've become acquainted with recently, a chillingly attractive blend of ego, intelligence, and psychopathy.

There are some excellent mystery series set in France-- especially those written by Cara Black, Fred Vargas, and Martin Walker. How does Gerald Jay's The Paris Directive compare? Very well indeed. I was quite happy to see that he's working on his second Inspector Mazarelle mystery. These talented writers are making France a regular stop in my crime fiction reading.

                                                                 --Cathy G. Cole, Amazon, (July 20, 2012)

Excellent Read!

This book surprised me. I'm used to the "same old thing" with crime/thrillers, and most just rehash old ground. The best, then, are ones that stand out for other reasons...excellent pacing, deep characterizations, and so forth. This isn't really an exception in terms of plot (there's nothing new under the sun), but it does stand out in every other way. I found myself engaged and interested, and I cared about the characters and what happened in the story. Really an excellent read. Highly recommended.

                                                                   --Matthew Brown, Amazon (July 14, 2012)

Murder-for-hire gone awry + intriguing characters
 + well-constructed plot = fun for all

The Paris Directive is to be the first in a series of thrillers revolving around protagonist Paul Mazarelle, a former Paris Inspector now living in the provincial town of Taziac, France.
Mazarelle, currently downtrodden and bored in his new environs, finds himself reinvigorated when he is thrust, headlong, into a grisly quadruple homicide that was originally to be a singular hit, on a wealthy industrialist, that, by circumstance, went horribly awry for the antagonist, Klaus Reiner.

To further complicate matters, Molly Reece, the daughter of two of the unintended victims and coincidentally a New York City ADA, shows up to collect her parents' remains and is less than satisfied with the progress, or in this case lack thereof, by Mazarelle and his squad in tracking down Reiner. Mazarelle, his cohorts, and the whole village have fingered small-time criminal turned family-man Ali Sedak, from Algeria, for the homicides. However, as Reece digs further into the circumstances surrounding Sedak and the murders she finds herself increasingly skeptical of the work of Taziac's finest, and ultimately entwined in Reiner's calculating and lethal web…. As a whole The Paris Directive is a captivating thriller filled with well-developed and relatable characters and an ever-increasingly juicy plot. I highly recommend this novel and any that will follow!

                                                                 --Pebblepuppy, Amazon (July 12, 2012)

Murder Chess

 ….When four brutal murders occur, Mazarelle delves into an investigation and a mystery much like a game of chess. As the story unfolds, he must match wits with suspects and leads that are revealed in bits and pieces.

The plot thickens as Molly Reece, an American and daughter of two of the murder victims, arrives on the scene. An attorney with the DA office in New York City, Molly decides to stay in France longer as she asks incisive questions and begins some of her own detective work. A striking redhead, intelligent and articulate…. Molly easily turns the heads of men, including Inspector Mazarelle, an American Embassy officer, Dwight Bennett, and a man who passes himself off as Pierre Barmeyer. Molly puts herself in danger as she makes clear she is not convinced the prime suspect is the actual murderer. Can Mazarelle protect her? Has he arrested the wrong person? What is the connection of the murders to a bigger plot?
…. As the main story resolves itself, the book leaves threads to set up potential sequels to include more of Inspector Mazarelle's investigations. I recommend this book and look forward to more adventures of the colorful French inspector from Taziac.

                                                                       --W. Easley, Amazon (July 16, 2012)

A Brilliant Thriller

A brilliant thriller-- extremely well written with compelling characters and an intriguing, international plot. Five Stars.

                                                                         --Diabelli, LibraryThing (June 24, 2012)

Wonderful Experience

It is a wonderful experience to read the first book in a new series, by a new author, that is so exceptionally well done and with a character so fully drawn and likeable that you know beyond any shadow of doubt that the character will go on to become a “classic” in the world of fictional detectives…. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Gerald Jay is an already well-respected novelist. The writing is too fine, the plot too well orchestrated to be someone’s “first” book. If this is Jay’s first book then a major new writer has burst into the mystery genre.

                                                               --Mysterymax, LibraryThing (July 9, 2012)

 Extremely Entertaining

Wow! A refreshing , at times humorous story about an aging detective in the Dordogne region in France. This book is well written and extremely entertaining. It has been a long time since I stayed up late to finish a book, but this one did it. I hope the second Mazarelle novel is out soon. Well done.

                                                                --Milkmanson, LibraryThing (July 9, 2012)

 Close to Mystery Nirvana

 This is pretty close to mystery nirvana: a sophisticated book set in France, populated by interesting characters, with descriptions of good food. Ahh.

Paul Mazarelle used to be a well-regarded detective in Paris, but he relocated to the Dordogne region because his wife was dying and she wanted to return home. It is 1999 and Mazarelle, now a widower, is still a flic in Taziac…. Into Mazarelle's lap falls a violent crime. Four tourists have been viciously murdered in their rental home in the countryside. Author Jay threads another story through this one, one more political and international in nature. Two former French agents have hired an assassin, Klaus Reiner. It is clear that his target is one or more of the tourists. But why? And is he really the murderer. A handyman at the rental home, Ali Sedak, has the misfortune of being a foreign national from Algeria and is being looked at for the crimes.

Although he has been away from senses-sharpening Paris for a while, Mazarelle's instincts are still attuned to what is out of place. His instincts tell him that Ali Sedak is not the killer. Echoing that thought is the American daughter of two of the victims, who has flown to Taziac to claim the bodies of her parents. She is determined to help catch whoever it really was and instead, of course, winds up on the wrong end of a cat-and-mouse game.

The mysterious Gerald Jay has written a very good debut novel. I suspect, however, that this is not his first book. He combines two serious storylines with a good sense of place, a sense of humor, and well-rounded characters…. Whoever the author is, he appreciates art and good food, essentials for writing a book set in France, n'est-ce pas?

                                                                --Barbara Tom, GoodReads (July 15, 2012)

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