In my mind, I have my day-trip to Paris all planned. I’ll take an early train from London or Amsterdam, and spend the day seeing the sights on foot–the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Seine; and eat at a sidewalk cafe, and then catch the night train back.
This book, Fall Irmgard, has strengthened my resolve to make the trip. It is the only book I’ve ever won in a Goodreads giveaway, and lucky me, I won an exceptionally good one. It is the first published novel by Rand Charles.
The story took place in occupied Paris in April 1941, a few months before the US entered WWII. A young American woman named Addie Bridges, who had been working in Paris and loving it, was reluctantly trying to get back home while leaving France was still possible. The German occupiers were getting in her way at every turn, while Parisians had all they could handle just trying to endure the Nazi occupation and keep their lives and livelihoods intact. The book was a long, slow, captivating read. The author enabled me to effortlessly visualize the scenes–the settings and the mannerisms of each character at every encounter. Highly recommend for readers interested in that period in history.
Meanwhile over in the sewing corner, I’m trying to figure out what to make with this Paris-themed fabric: Dress, skirt, curtains, or all three; … and
The difference between this and any other Ann Rule book, is that something made me pick this one up at the bookstore, take a quick look through it, buy it and read it. Ann Rule has done important work in writing books about stalkers and murderers who outwardly appeared to be leading ordinary lives among us. I find the books too haunting to read. But something about this story made me want to know what happened.
As I read further into this book, I began wondering why I had never heard of this story on the news. The Delaware Governor’s beautiful secretary goes missing and then the murderer turns out to be a well-connected, married lawyer from a wealthy family, well-known in the region.
The news story may not have reached me in real time in 1997, but in 2000, this book did a thorough, careful job of helping me get to know these people. Anne Marie was tall, slender, kind, fun loving and beautiful. Her doom was being at her desk when this man came to the Governor’s office for a meeting. He pursued her the way an experienced man pursues a trusting young person. He was practiced at cheating on his wife, and cheating on his girlfriends, one of whom was the wife of one of his law partners. Before long Ann Marie was trying to figure out how to leave him. That’s when he turned on the other type of manipulation, in which he made her think she owed him. He stalked her as well. When those tactics stopped working and he sensed she was getting away, he murdered her. With the help of one of his brothers, he dumped her body at sea.
Anne Marie kept a diary, which would seem to make an open-and-shut case. But no; it was anything but that. When he was arrested and prosecuted, he manipulated family and friends from jail; trying to get them to lie for him. He paid a thug to break into another girlfriend’s house to scare her into lying for him. Meanwhile, he was setting her up to take the fall for his crime.
Maybe I was drawn to this book because I was close to Anne Marie’s age, and worked with some suits who thought they had perfected the double life. I don’t know. When I finish a book, I usually pass it on. The ‘keepers’ that remain in my possession, take up less than a single shelf in my bookcase. This is one of the keepers.
Read and watch more:
Book: There was another book written about Anne Marie’s murder, titled ‘Summer Wind‘. It is a shorter book, but also did an excellent job telling the story.
I couldn’t find an official movie trailer, but here is a collection of scenes from the movie.
The movie contained a clip of this beautiful song, which made me search for the song and buy the album.
Twenty years before #metoo, and the outing of Matt Lauer and Bill Cosby (two of a growing list), we all knew there were people among us in our daily lives, shrouded in respectable suits and positions, underneath which they honored nothing but their desire at any given moment. They thought they had somehow been endowed with an entitlement to take what they wanted, by criminal means if necessary, and have their colleagues and subordinates help keep it all in the closet. They are still out there among us. Don’t be their next target, and don’t be an enabler. My wish is that Anne Marie never be forgotten.
This morning was my fave annual 10k trail run. There were muddy creek crossings.
There was a dam to scale. It was ‘dam’ high and steep.
And then came the descent.
I stayed on my feet for the descent, but in my mind I was one misstep away from doing a spectacular tumble a la Gloucestershire Cheese Roll-style.
At the race finish, a little mud wasn’t going to stop me from savoring a delicious juicy orange.
When getting dressed for the race this morning, I noticed my HRM (heart rate monitor) was way too loose. I cinched it down to its smallest, but it was still too loose. The several-years-old elastic was giving out. So, I quickly threaded the sewing machine with black, and cut a big 9-inch section of elastic out of the band.
Then I sewed the shortened band pieces back together.
I put the shortened HRM back on, and it was still too big, so I took it off, cut out another 6 inches. And sewed it together again. Then it fit, and I was off to the races…literally.
Back home after the race, I plopped myself onto the couch and re-dedicated myself to reading A Confederacy of Dunces. I’d started it long ago, and liked it, but then set it aside, forgotten. Now it is one of the books in the Great American Read list, and it is my choice for the Read.