'Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?'
Helena should of course say no. She doesn't know the man talking to her, she doesn't know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn't waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes.
Mancebo, a Tunisian shopkeeper, lives a quiet life manning his grocery near the Sacré-Cœur. But one day he is approached by a woman asking whether he will spy on her boyfriend, who lives in the apartment across the street. To his surprise, Mancebo agrees.
As Helena and Mancebo's missions overlap, they realise that the City of Light harbours more secrets in its cafés and courtyards than its inhabitants and visitors could possibly suspect . . .
'An intriguing little mystery' Books on the 747
'An absolute delight to read . . . Paris is brought to life on the pages of this exquisite book about identity, finding yourself and the importance of taking a chance on life' Brew and Books Review
Early in R stlund's charming debut, a stranger approaches journalist Helena Folasadu in a Paris caf and asks if she's waiting for Monsieur Bellivier. Impulsively, she says yes, even though she isn't, and the response leads to a lucrative but mysterious job offer that arouses her investigative instincts. Meanwhile, Mancebo, a middle-aged Paris grocery store owner, allows an enchanting neighbor who suspects her husband of having an affair to talk him into moonlighting as a private investigator, and in the course of his new career, he discovers shocking truths about people in his own life. Helena and Mancebo eventually cross paths and find themselves at opposite ends of an enigma that will cause them to reevaluate their relationships, question their priorities, and pursue new possibilities. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith, as well as readers who enjoy quirky characters and richly drawn settings, should find plenty to appreciate in this novel about secret lives and second chances.)\n