Andrea here, musing on research, and why I find it such fun to delve into background material to find all the little details that help to add color to a story. I’ve got a new Lady Arianna mystery coming out on April 6th—it’s titled A TANGLE OF SERPENTS—and this latest adventure takes Arianna and Saybrook to Paris in the aftermath of of Waterloo. The Allied armies have occupied the city, which has become a viper’s nest of international intrigue as Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria all jockey for power in how to reorder France. (You can pre-order here. And read an excerpt here.)
It’s a fabulously interesting setting for a mystery . . . I found so many fun bits of color to weave into the plot. The most amazing discovery, which figures prominently in the action, is one I’m saving for close to the release date. But here are plenty of others . . .
Imagine the city suddenly flooded with soldiers from all over Europe—how do you keep them . . . er . . . entertained? And add to the soldiers all the British civilians who at last were free to visit the Continent after years of war. So tourists were also crowding the boulevards, anxious to taste all the pleasures of Paris. Well, thank heavens the city was famous for its joie de vivre. Food! Fashion! Flirting! It turns out there was no dearth of places that offered a sumptuous array of amusements.