Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Paris Lawyer” as Want to Read:
The Paris Lawyer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt

The Paris Lawyer

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  222 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
As a child, Catherine Monsigny was the only witness to her mother's death. Twenty years later as an ambitious attorney in contemporary Paris, she catches a professional break when her boss assigns her to major felony case in rural France. An immigrant stands accused of poisoning her husband, but her secrets are not the only ones hidden in the scenic rolling hills of ...more
Paperback, Limited print edition
Published February 2013 by Le French Book (first published January 5th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Madeline by Ludwig BemelmansBrainwashed by Paul AertkerFrench Illusions by Linda Kovic-SkowThe Story of Babar by Jean de BrunhoffAsterix the Gaul by René Goscinny
France..and Paris!
189th out of 206 books — 99 voters
A Year in Provence by Peter MayleLunch in Paris by Elizabeth BardMadame Bovary by Gustave FlaubertThe Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen FlinnMy Life in France by Julia Child
Life in France
166th out of 212 books — 33 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Note: there are no spoilers in this review.

April 12, 1988: "Her mother is not there; her mother is not running up to her; the bridge that has connected her to the entire world has disappeared.”
September 11, 2001: While major catastrophe is happening elsewhere in the world, minor events take place which are important to the individuals concerned. Gaston’s mother dies and Myriam allegedly escapes from a life of abuse.

What do these seemingly unrelated events have to do with one another?

The tales o
Paris, France.

Dr. Claude Monsigny regarded himself as the model father for his model little daughter, Catherine Monsigny. Catherine did not know her mother, Violet, who was brutally murdered as a young women. The gruesome event took place when Violet took her little baby daughter, Catherine, in stroller for a walk, never to return.

He would combine the roles of both parents in raising her and protecting her against anything sinister that might possibly bring more harm to her. He made sure that a
I received this book from Net Galley. The central character is a lawyer who has been assigned her first homicide case. She is defending a woman of color charged with the murder of her husband. It was an inter-racial marriage in a rural French community where all outsiders tend to be viewed with suspicion, but I anticipated that racism would play a role in the way that the accused woman is viewed. I thought that this book would grapple with some interesting issues.

I will say that Granotier has cr
Oct 28, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier is a Le French publication released in 2012. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Catherine's mother was murdered when she was child. She was the only witness to the crime. Her father, Doctor Monsigny does what he can to be a good father to her, but mostly the subject of her mother is not broached.

As an adult, Catherine is an attorney. She has just been assigned her first big, high profile, murder c
Wanda Hartzenberg
Oct 24, 2013 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it really liked it
Please note that this book has been translated!

This should not be an issue apart from the fact that the translation caused;

Action too far removed from object of interest! That is the summation of this books writing.
The method of writing was new and it made me uncomfortable. That said as the book progressed I found that the author chose this form of narrative to give the reader an insider view of the true horror of the happenings. Making every thought known and turning the mundane and extraordi
It is always a pleasure to come across publishers who are bringing works from different cultures to the English-reading world, particularly when there is such a strong sense of place in the books I've been lucky enough to read from Le French Book ( THE PARIS LAWYER has a particular French sensibility, combined with a clever take on lawyer based crime fiction.

The Parisian Lawyer is Catherine Monsigny, a young lawyer whose earliest memories are fleeting glimpses of the da
May 15, 2014 eyes.2c rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason the colour green of her childhood, of the grass, of emerald eyes, of Cedric Dever's grey green eyes was amongst my first impressions.
The colour green comes to represent the descent from softness and joy into the harsh and uncompromising reality of lost ways, of childhood nightmares, of fear and loss.
Catherine Monsigny's past is shadowed even from herself.
A rising young lawyer looking to make her mark, she takes on a murder case that unwittingly returns her to that lost time. Some
Wayne McCoy
The Paris Lawyer is an interesting legal thriller with 2 storylines happening at the same time. Young Paris lawyer Catherine Monsigny is defending her first case. An immigrant marries a much older man, and when he dies, questions are asked by the man's family. At the same time, Catherine is dealing with thoughts of her mother's death, which happened when Catherine was just a toddler. Vague memories of the event seem to be surfacing.

It doesn't help that Catherine's case is taking her to the town
Patricia Metoyer
Oct 30, 2013 Patricia Metoyer rated it liked it
I enjoyed the plot, however the writing style was difficult to follow. There were so many characters it was difficult to keep up. I believe the writer was trying to get you to get inside the mind of the main character so you could relate to why she behaved the way that she did. Although I found it difficult to read, every time I put it down, I wanted to pick the book up again to see what happened next.
Kathy Davie
May 09, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
A story of suspense in Paris, France, that revolves around a young lawyer eager to make her mark. I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. God help them, that’s what they’re getting.

The Paris Lawyer has won the Grand Prix Sang d'encre. I guess if it’s anything like most books I’ve read that received a literary honor, it makes sense that I can’t make sense of it.

My Take
In all honesty, I’ve only read 20% of the story on my Kindle. I simply can’t read any more as the writing is
Margaret Traylor
The Paris Lawyer, written by Sylvie Granotier and translated into English by Anne Trager, recounts the debut criminal trial of a young Parisian attorney preoccupied by her mother’s murder. When a major case calls Catherine Monsigny to Creuse, an inexplicable memory and a twenty-year old photo take on new significance. As she builds a defense for a seemingly originless immigrant accused of murder, Catherine investigates the history of her own family. In the meantime, she acquires a lover with ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psycholigical Thriller Readers
Recommended to Eileen by: NetGalley
As a child, Catherine Monsigny was the only witness to her mother's death. 20 years later as an ambitious attorney in contemporary Paris, she catches a professional break when her boss assigns her to major felony case in rural France. An immigrant stands accused of poisoning her husband, but her secrets are not the only ones hidden in the scenic rolling hills of Creuse. While preparing the defense, Catherine is reunited with images of own past and a high-intensity search for two murde
Aug 13, 2013 Vicki rated it liked it

The Paris Lawyer of the title is young and eager to make a name for herself. Catherine Monsigny has landed a job in a relatively large and prestigious firm. She is ambitious, and is in fact lobbying her boss so that she might be allowed to take on a murder case that might mean increased notice of her in the press. The risk though, is that the Parisian press might not be bothered to leave Paris to go watch Catherine in action. She daydreams about influencing reporters and even uses her charms to
Jun 13, 2013 Gaele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, net-galley
This was an incredibly compelling story that maintains that peculiar sensibility that is utterly French yet eludes description. While most of the more procedurally focused stories I have read flow between police and criminal, Granotier mixes it up and gives us young lawyer Catherine Monsigny enmeshed in two different storylines of past and present.

Lush descriptions place readers in the city of Paris or in the small village in the hills of central France. It is easy to relate to the small town f
May 29, 2014 Vox rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Catherine is a newly minted lawyer looking to advance her career, both because she is ambitious and because she wants to catch the eye of her boss (she is attracted to older men ... we'll discuss her Daddy Issues in a bit). She receives the case of an African immigré who came to France to escape a horrific life in Africa (and to land a husband). Catherine is excited. Nervous, but excited.

The case sends her back to her hometown, which she left years earlier after being the sole witness
Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar
Jul 22, 2014 Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar rated it it was amazing
For Full and detailed review, rush to

The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier is a book to be savoured, for its plot, its character development, and above all, for the richness of its language.

Catherine Monsigny is a young lawyer, who is beginning to make a name for herself. Despite being self-assured, she suffers from issues of abandonment from the loss of her mother, who was murdered while out on a walk, with little Catherine in a stroller. Her heartbroken
May 16, 2014 L.S. rated it liked it
Given the genre and the setting, this should have been the perfect book for me. I am addicted to legal thrillers, and when the story takes place in familiar territory (Europe, rather than the US – sorry, no offence!), then my interest is piqued and expectations are high.

Admittedly, at the outset, I struggled with the writer’s style. The constant switching from actual events to memories of the past had me more than a little confused. At times I had to re-read sections just to confirm which charac
Ryan Dejonghe
Mar 10, 2014 Ryan Dejonghe rated it really liked it
The Paris Lawyer has the potential to be an amazing book—and probably is, in French. All the elements are in place: a smart female lawyer, a family secret, and an emotionally charged legal case. What happens though is some of the bite is taken off of the meaning. The translation is well done, but while the translation is perfect (kudos to the translator), the story’s flare fails to spark.

There are small translation nuances, such as word meanings and commonplace sentence structuring, but those ar
Lynda Birch
Jun 30, 2013 Lynda Birch rated it really liked it
In this story Sylvie Granotier introduces us to Catherine Monsigny a young, ambitious lawyer and a rising star at a major Parisian law firm. Catherine finds herself with a major felony case and sees an opportunity for her career to take off. She has to defend a black woman accused of murdering her rich husband in a pastoral village setting on the outskirts of Paris. The journey to the village to meet her client and investigate the case becomes a journey of self-discovery for the young lawyer.

Dec 28, 2014 Roxann rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
The book is about a young Paris lawyer, Catherine Monsigny, who is defending her first case. An immigrant marries a much older man, and years later he dies. His family begins to ask questions about his death. As Catherine deals with this case she begins to have thoughts of her mother’s death. It happened when she was a toddler. Her mother was killed feet from where Catherine had been left in her stroller. She has a strained relationship with her father and finds out one of the men in her life ...more
This book really appealed being a murder mystery and a legal thriller so many thanks to netgalley for sending me a copy.

As the blurb suggests we are reading about 2 murder mysteries; the protagonist's Catherine's mother and an immigrant's husband. From the first few chapters I found it quite slow, repetitive and just hard to get to grips with. I persevered as I felt there was a good story to tell but it didn't grab me and I often felt confused and a bit mixed up, this may be more to do with the
May 12, 2014 Annalisa rated it liked it
Hm......well, the setting of the book is interesting. Set partly in Paris, and partly in rural France, especially if you have ever visited France, it's fun to read about France from the French perspective. You do get a feel for what life is like from the perspective of a young French career woman. The insights into the French judicial system, which is rather different from the American system, are also engaging. Two major problems I had with this book: (1) the style in which it's written, and ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Disclosure - A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
First, let me say, I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. It seems I was offered this book because I'd given a favorable rating to Gone Girl, and there have been some comparisons between the two books. I was afraid I was going to find myself aggravated but compelled to keep going. No aggravation here.

I am always drawn in by well-written detail, whether that be landscape, food, or clothing. This book had just the righ
Randee Baty
The Paris Lawyer is the story of Catherine, a young and rising lawyer who is taking on her first murder trial. She's been in the courtroom a number of times but this is the most important case of her career. An undocumented Gabonese woman married a older French farmer and when he died of arsenic poisoning, the wife is the first suspect.

Catherine has a huge mystery in her own life because her mother was murdered when Catherine was a baby and the murderer has never been found. This was obviously t
Kate Eileen Shannon
Aug 16, 2013 Kate Eileen Shannon rated it it was amazing
This is not easy for me to review. There was so much I didn’t like but I could not put it down. There is no question, it is very well written. But it is very narrative and I like dialogue driven books. I never put a book down immediately. I have read books that the first chapter was very narrative. Setting a mood, a time, a place, some backstory. Then went on to be a book I enjoyed. So I always give a well written book a chance. And this is very well written. But after a couple of chapters, I ...more
Susan Johnston
Jun 13, 2014 Susan Johnston rated it really liked it


Catherine, a young and very able lawyer has an exciting legal future in front of her. That is she can survive the effects of her past. Her mother was murdered as she sat nearby in her stroller. Fragments of that day surface from time to time where she is not sure how much is fact and how much is fantasy. Her father has blotted out memories of her mother which increases her feelings of abandonment. There is a distance between father and daughter but both the distance between the two and
Jun 29, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
The Parisian Lawyer. Catherine Monsigny is an ambitious young lawyer who lobbies for a high profile case involving the marriage of a young black immigrant to a much older Frenchman. Tucked away in a tiny, tight-knit village, the man's death is initially assumed to be natural, but when a bottle of cyanide is discovered in the kitchen, the young woman is accused of murder. Whether the small village is racist or xenophobic, the trial is sure to cause attention, and Catherine hopes it will be a ...more
Julian Froment
Jun 04, 2014 Julian Froment rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
I quite enjoyed this book. It was a relatively quick and easy read.

I liked the protagonist and found the story interesting. The character development and the back stories of the major players were well handled, with sufficient detail retained to leave some uncertainty about characters motives. I liked the fact that the author led me off in one direction and had me convinced early on of how the story would end, only to find that I was wrong in my assumptions.

One thing that I did not like about t
Mar 22, 2013 Claudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I am not sure what to say about this book. I liked the idea of reading about a young lawyer in Paris, and I enjoyed all the details about Catherine and the trials she worked on. I think it was a good portrait of a young lawyer who is learning how to be a lawyer, and who gives the reader insight in the anxieties and troubles.
But apart from that I was confused about the story lines, the changes of point of view, and the mix of past, present, and future. Half of the time I was lost of who was speak
Aug 19, 2013 Craftnut rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book is translated from French, which results in a more sophisticated sentence structure and style than most of us are used to. However, knowing that it is still a difficult read due to the style of the storytelling. The story is told in an esoteric form, in third person, in mostly thoughts and memories of the main character as well as other characters. There is a tendency to go into a memory of a character without any segue which is very confusing to the reader. Also, the point of view of ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
  • The 7th Woman (Paris Homicide)
  • The Good Girl's Guide to Murder (Debutante Dropout, #2)
  • Reality Ends Here
  • Ashes and Bone (Delta Crossroads Trilogy, #3)
  • Chasing a Thrill
  • Beneath the Surface (Sgt. Windlfower Mystery, #3)
  • The Bleiberg Project (Consortium #1)
  • This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness
  • Treachery in Bordeaux
  • The Girl Who Went Missing
  • Murder on Thames (Cherringham, #1)
  • The Sixth
  • The Queen's Nose
  • Amelia Cole and the Unknown World
  • 4 to 16 Characters
  • Never Apologise, Never Explain (Inspector Carlyle #2)
  • Coal Creek
  • This Little Piggy
AUTHOR, screenwriter and actress Sylvie Granotier loves to weave plots that send shivers up your spine. She was born in Algeria and grew up in Paris and Morocco. She studied literature and theater in Paris, then set off traveling— the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, ending with a tour of Europe. She wound up in Paris again, an actress, with a job and some recognition. But she is ...more
More about Sylvie Granotier...

Share This Book

“Sarcasm is a bad mood trying to be clever,” 0 likes
More quotes…