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by Sylvie Granotier, translated by Anne Trager

As a child, she was the only witness to a heinous crime. Now, Catherine Monsigny is an ambitious rookie attorney in Paris, working for a well-known firm. On the side, she does pro bono work and hits the jackpot: a major felony case that could boost her career. A black woman is accused of poisoning her rich farmer husband in a peaceful village in central France, where nothing ever happens. While preparing the case, Catherine’s own past comes back with a vengeance. This fast-paced story follows Catherine’s determined search for the truth in both her case and her own life. Who can she believe? And can you ever escape from your past? The story twists and turns, combining subtle psychological insight with detailed descriptions of the region.


Prix du Sang d’Encre 2011

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The author

Sylvie Granotier is a best-selling French author, screenwriter and actress with fourteen novels under her belt. This is her first book translated into English.




“Sylvie Granotier’s The Paris Lawyer is a beautifully written and elegantly structured novel of a woman’s attempt to solve the central mystery of her life, and several other mysteries along the way.  It captures the reader from the first page, and never lets go.”

–Thomas H. Cook

“Full of surprises and twists that will keep you reading late into the night.”


“This is a suspense novel with an absolutely perfect atmosphere. The writing is subtle, racy, controlled. It is written with great art!”

“Everything in this book—the plot, the atmosphere, the characters, and the style—is perfectly mastered from beginning to end.”


“The author has a distinctive style and an unsurpassed talent for delving deep into her characters’ minds. It is a disturbing read.”

–Madame Figaro

“Reading this is like having a fever. The author takes the reader from dark humor to cold anxiety at a diabolic pace.”

Notre temps

“Sylvie Granotier’s book, The Paris Lawyer, has a compelling heroine in Catherine Monsigny.  She is a young attorney, working on a fascinating, mysterious case.  But she is also a woman haunted by a tragic event in her own past, the murder of her mother.  Sylvie Granotier interweaves the past and present with a sure hand, and her characters have a psychological depth which is rare in crime fiction today.  This is a complex tale, skillfully told, that will keep you in suspense to the very end.”

–Patricia MacDonald

  • Booklist: “Granotier, a French actress and best-selling author, has a knack for creating drama and atmospheric suspense. Fans of Elizabeth George and Ruth Rendell will eat this one up.”
  • Crime Fiction Lover review of The Paris Lawyer : “The Paris Lawyer is a powerful, well-written thriller, but also a meditation on the nature of love and marriage, and whether we can ever escape the past and reinvent ourselves.”
  • Rachel Cotterill Book Reviews on The Paris Lawyer“a solid and interesting read, and I would certainly consider reading more by this author.”
  • Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, Spotlight on The Paris Lawyer: “The Paris Lawer is a credible double mystery told in a way that brings both story threads together. It’s got a distinctive French setting, a strong protagonist, some well-developed and likeable other characters and a haunting link of past to present.”
  • AustCrime’s review of The Paris Lawyer: The Paris Lawyer has a particular French sensibility, combined with a clever take on lawyer-based crime fiction…One of the most interesting aspects of it is how what starts of as a slightly meandering, low key sort of a story, builds into something that becomes extremely involving. It’s almost sneaky how the combination of an isolated location, a man with a secret and a central character with a confronting past, all combine as Monsigny’s investigation into her own background and the defence of the murder accused, twist and turn together. The story deftly balances the idea of a lawyer, trial-based book; with many of the aspects of a psychological thriller.”
  • Ms. Wordopolis review of The Paris Lawyer“Granotier’s strength is portraying the minds of her main characters.”
  • 5-star Amazon review: “Fascinating psychological thriller with a surprise ending. Francophiles–this is your book. A young Parisian lawyer who lost her mother when she was just a small girl is now investigating her first big case in a rural village. In the process she learns surprising facts about her mother’s death. The writing is superb and the story is involved enough to keep every reader interested to the end.”
  • 5-star Amazon review: “This author ranks with some of the best and combines rich descriptions with a great story.”
  • 5-star Amazon review: ”This is a fun read. The characters are interesting. The setting – well, it’s Paris and the French countryside so how can you go wrong? Then there are the twists and turns. Surprising? You bet – but that’s enough. Read it and you’ll see – you do not have to read French to enjoy the book.”
  • 4-star Amazon review: ”The Paris Lawer is a credible double mystery told in a way that brings both story threads together. It’s got a distinctive French setting, a strong protagonist, some well-developed and likeable other characters and a haunting link of past to present.”
  • 4-star Amazon review: ”The story was compelling, and the writing excellent. The setting of Paris and the French countryside were nicely done, as well.”
  • I am, Indeed blog: “This was an incredibly compelling story that maintains that peculiar sensibility that is utterly French yet eludes description… Granotier has pulled layers from the characters to expose their secrets and flaws up to the last pages, and created a story that was well worth the time to read.”
  • Queen of All She Reads Blog: “Well developed characters, good dialogue, and two solid mysteries kept me turning the pages. …Ms. Granotier does an excellent job developing her characters; it was easy to identify with the Catherine and her youthful ambitions.”
  • The Goode Word: “Ms. Trager has done such a smooth translation that the book flows quite naturally in English.Unexpected twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the closing pages. A good mystery, and there is also lots to be learned about the differences in French and American justice systems.”
Related blog posts
The book

The Paris Lawyer

by Sylvie Granotier; translated by Anne Trager—e-book, trade paperback, hardback—published by Le French Book—ISBN: 978-0-9853206-1-4 (epub)/978-0-985320-64-5 (Kindle)/ 978-1-939474-01-8 (trade paperback)/ 978-1-939474-68-1 (hardback)—First published in French (La Rigole du Diable, Editions Albin Michel, Paris)—Trade paperback release: May 15, 2014


Press releases

For the full media kitclick here.