Fr. 19.90

The Readers' Room

English · Paperback


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When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers' room is convinced it's something special. And the committee for France's highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees. But when the shortlist is announced, there's a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author's identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she's beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story... Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.

About the author

Antoine Laurain is the award-winning author of nine novels including The Red Notebook (Indie Next, MIBA bestseller) and The President's Hat (Waterstones Book Club, Indies Introduce). His books have been translated into 25 languages and sold more than 200,000 copies in English. He lives in Paris.

Emily Boyce is a translator and editor. She was shortlisted for the French Book Office New Talent in Translation Award in 2008, the French-American Translation Prize in 2016, and the Scott Moncrieff Prize in 2021. She lives in London.

Jane Aitken is a publisher and translator from the French.

Polly Mackintosh is a translator from French and has worked on titles from authors such as Antoine Laurain and Serge Joncour.


A Parisian editor is drawn into a murder investigation when an unknown thriller author is shortlisted for a prize.

Additional text

‘The plot blends mystery with comedy to great effect, and, as ever, Laurain has fun at the expense of his countrymen’ Daily Mail 

‘A stylish whodunnit blended with an affectionate send-up of the world of books’ Sunday Mirror 

‘[An] elegantly written little gem… the whole thing is such fun’ The Big Issue 

‘Laurain has spun a fantastically intricate web here, where the smallest detail could be significant, and, no matter how sure you are that you’ve grasped it, he is one step ahead. Joyously far-fetched and metafictional’ The Herald 

‘A profound love of books and authors underpins this sprightly mystery’ Publishers Weekly

‘The Reader's Room is a genuine masterpiece of literary mystery.’ Mystery Scene Magazine 

‘Replete with treats for bibliophiles and armchair vigilantes alike, The Readers’ Room is an engrossing mystery novel that plumbs the writing process for its most dangerous potential.’ Foreword Reviews

Praise for Antoine Laurain:

'Clever, funny ... a masterpiece of Parisian perfection' HRH The Duchess of Cornwall 

‘The very quintessence of French romance’ The Times

‘A hymn to la vie Parisienne… enjoy it for its fabulistic narrative, and the way it teeters pleasantly on the edge of Gallic whimsy’ The Guardian

'A short, beautifully written evocation of Paris' Financial Times

'Like finding a gem among the bric-a-brac in a local brocante' The Telegraph

‘Soaked in Parisian atmosphere, this lovely, clever, funny novel will have you rushing to the Eurostar post-haste… A gem’ Daily Mail

'Delightfully nostalgic escapism' Sunday Mirror

‘Tender and charming ... with characteristic Gallic flair' Foreword Reviews

‘Guaranteed fun’ Publishers Weekly

‘A real tonic for the soul' NB

'Like fine wine, Laurain’s novels get better with each one he writes' Phaedra Patrick, author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

‘As inventive and perceptive as you could wish for’ Max Easterman, European Literature Network

'Warm-hearted and witty ... both effortlessly readable and charmingly profound' CultureFly

'Someone can always come along and make our world a lot more perfect than before. One such is M Laurain himself, for he really is most readable, warm-hearted and enjoyable' The Book Bag

Product details

Authors Antoine Laurain
Assisted by Jane Aitken (Translation), Emily Boyce (Translation), Polly Mackintosh (Translation)
Publisher Gallic
Languages English
Product format Paperback
Released 22.09.2020
EAN 9781910477977
ISBN 978-1-910477-97-7
Subjects Fiction > Suspense

Paris, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), FICTION / Crime, FICTION / Humorous / General, FICTION / Literary, Fiction in translation, 21st Century, Literature & literary studies, CULTURAL HERITAGE / French

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