By the time A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder came out in 2018, I had already done enough research to plot three books. At the time, I didn’t know if there would be any more. When I signed a contract for an additional three, I decided 2020 would be the year I travel for research. I knew at some point in those three books, Frances and George would marry and they’d have to take a wedding trip somewhere, right?
We all know what happened to travel plans in 2020, and 2021 wasn’t much better. I finished books four, five, and six with my sleuths remaining firmly in London. Then I got an offer to write three more. What luck! The timing couldn’t be better both for me and my characters. Travel was happening again in 2022. And, for my characters, the Paris Exposition of 1900 was just beginning.
I don’t like to get too far ahead of my books, but I’m sure you know that while we wait for the publisher to release book six, which I’ll be blogging about in the coming months, I’m hard at work on book seven. I won’t say anything about the plot, it’s still subject to change anyway, but I had so much fun doing research in Paris, I just have to share it!
The image at the top of this post is of the exposition grounds. They covered 543 acres with the prime locations at the Champ de Mars, the Trocadero, the Esplanade des Invalides, and along the banks of the Seine. But most of the structures built for the exposition were temporary and are no longer there. I needed help to recreate the past, at least in my mind. I found our guide, Lucien, through a group called With Locals. A history lover and former teacher, he was as geeked out about uncovering the historical details as I was. If you ever need a guide to Paris history, visit him at: Une visite avec Lucien (google.com)
Lucien found some wonderful images from the past like the Palace of Electricity below. It was fitted with five thousand incandescent lamps and glowed like a beacon at night. Can you believe something this detailed was built to last less than a year?
Of course we did some exploring on our own too. The more I experienced of the city, the more I could see Frances and George there. I can’t say for sure, but you may see some of these settings in future books too!
Pictured below: Eiffel Tower from the Seine, Notre Dame Cathedral, Interior of the Paris Opera House, Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.