Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey
Book Review - Blog Tour

Publication Date: 6th October, 2020


The parcel arrived on an ordinary morning in the mailbox of her New York apartment, postmarked Paris. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied with a silk ribbon. Little did she know that the old brass key and letter it contained were about to turn her life upside down…

1940, Paris. Life is getting desperate for young Isabelle de Florian. Alone with her best friend in her Paris apartment, Isabelle knows that they must seek safety or die. For months she has been playing a dangerous game of secrets with the Nazis, trying to keep the people she loves safe. At last, she secures passage out of the city, packs her best jewels into a small suitcase and steps into the treacherous night…

New York, 2015. Photographer Cat Jordan is shocked when she receives a letter informing her that she is the sole heir of the estate of Isabelle de Florian. She was a friend of Cat’s enigmatic grandmother, who both lived in France until the Nazi occupation forced them to flee. The letter offers few details but is clear on one point: Cat must come to Paris in person.

When she arrives, Cat is enchanted by Isabelle’s beautiful apartment. But why did she leave it to a stranger? Determined to find the truth, Cat investigates her grandmother and Isabelle’s escape from Paris, and discovers that Isabelle was hunted by the Nazis in 1940. But as Cat searches through the dusty letters in the apartment, will the secret she finds change everything she knows about Isabelle and herself?

From bestselling author Ella Carey comes an utterly spellbinding novel about wartime secrets. Paris Time Capsule shows that pulling on the tiniest thread of a life can unravel everything you thought you knew, and change your world forever.

My Thoughts

I remember when news of this apartment broke about ten years ago with images of its amazing contents left undisturbed since World War II. This apartment captured the imagination of many, but none more so than Ella Carey who was inspired to write three novels based around this fantastic discovery. Paris Time Capsule is the first of the trilogy and is a delightful blend of fact and fiction.

When Cat Jordan receives a parcel from Paris containing a key, she is unable to grasp that she has been left an apartment in Paris. Cat travels to Paris at the urging of the solicitor, leaving behind her fiancé and her job in a photographic studio. None of her questions regarding the inheritance are answered to her satsifaction. She only knows that the connection is through her grandmother, which doesn't explain why Isabelle de Florian would leave property to Cat's family and not her own.

Cat is surprised when Isabelle de Florian's grandson, Loic Archer, arrives when she is about to view the apartment. The solicitor had assured her that there were no other claimants. Now that relatives have come forward, Cat believes she has no claim to the inheritance, but Loic disagrees citing that his mother will respect his grandmother's wishes. With Cat offering to share or hand over the apartment and its treasures, and Loic's mother determined not to accept Cat's generosity, it seems that they have reached an impasse until Loic's mother asks Cat to delve into the mystery. Not all the family is happy with Cat's decision to do this, and Loic, although he believes things are better left alone, agrees to help.

Spending so much time together it is inevitable that Cat and Loic become more than friends. Complicating the issue is Cat's fiancé who insists she come home as they have a wedding to plan, but she is reluctant to return to New York until she uncovers the mystery. So fielding telephone calls from New York regarding wedding arrangements and fighting her feelings for Loic, Cat follows the trail of Isabelle de Florian to uncover a sad but amazing tale.

Paris Time Capsule is a captivating story from Ella Carey, taking the reader back to the grand times of the Belle Epoch and the dangerous and uncertain times of the Nazi occupation. Not only does she deliver a heart warming romance, but also an intriguing mystery and a plausible explanation for the abandonment of this treasure-filled apartment.

A high point of this novel, thanks to Carey's vivid descriptions, is the moment that Cat opens the door to the apartment. The reader shared Cat's wonderment and incredulity of this Aladdin's cave, right down to the smell of musty air tinged with the scent of stale perfume, and the excitement of discovering that Boldini portrait of Marthe de Florian, the original owner of the apartment.

Overall, this was a quick and very entertaining read that will appeal to readers of romantic fiction who also enjoy mysteries with links to the past.

Paris Time Capsule is available from Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Google.

About the Author

Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.

Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.

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