The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain


 A mysterious manuscript and author create havoc for a Parisian editor

Regarding people who dream of having their book published — ” . .  .most of them never get round to actually writing the book. . . Their draft stays in their head all their lives –  dream that they like to entertain on holiday . . . All those phantom books form a sort of enveloping cloud around literature like the ozone layer around the earth.”  

Violaine Lepage, an editor at a Parisian Publishing House has her hands full. She is recovering from an airplane accident and the prize manuscript that is up for a prominent award is connected to a series of murders. And no one knows who the author is.

This is the first book that I have read by Antoine Laurain, and I am intrigued enough by his writing style to try another title. This story was a good mix of tongue-in-cheek observations about writers, publishing and publishing houses. The mystery about the author’s identity and the connection between the book and the murders are engrossing. The narrative style is fast-paced. The ending felt a bit rushed to me, but the overall book was an enjoyable enough romp that I wasn’t disappointed.

I would recommend this title for anyone looking for a light mystery that is a step above cozy, or those interested in glimpsing the world of traditional publishing houses.

The Readers’ Room reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger and Peter Mayle’s The Vintage Caper.