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A Man in Uniform

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  308 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
At the height of the Belle Epoque, François Dubon leads a well-ordered life in the bourgeois quarters of Paris’ eighth arrondissement. When not busy with his prosperous legal practice, he enjoys both a contented marriage to his aristocratic wife, Geneviève, and satisfying afternoon encounters with his mistress, Madeleine. He is never late for those five o’clock appointment ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Broadway Books (first published August 3rd 2010)
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Bessie James
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was captivated by the cover and the title. I know, shallow. But sometimes the promise of a title and a cover deliver. This one did. I'd advise anyone reading this to Wikepedia the article on Albert Dreyfus before getting too far into this well-crafted historical/detective fiction. If you want to know what Dreyfus endured, see the old movie "Papillon" with Steve McQueen (gush) and Dustin Hoffman. It gives you a sense of what Dreyfus endured on Devil's Island. I think it won several Oscars. Devi ...more
Read It Forward
Beautifully written, inspired by the infamous Dreyfus Affair. A big hit in the author's native Canada, and I can see why: it's a truly literate thriller that explores profound ideas. Highly recommended!
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
There were times that this novel was a bit slow moving but overall an interesting read. My problem with historical fiction is that I never know where fact ends and fiction begins so I simply read it as complete fiction. Ms. Taylor has piqued my interest in the real story.
Patrice Fischer
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Parts of it were suspenseful, parts were not. For a story about the consequences of anti-antisemitism in France, very little reference to Jewish considerations of any kind. Dreyfus was presented as an annoying military man, basically nothing more.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading two other books by this author, I initially had no intention of reading another. Then I read the plot summary and was intregued. After a couple of weeks I gave in to temptation and started it. So glad I did. Finished the book in no time and wondered why she couldn't write this way all the time.
It has made me willing to try another one when she publishes again.
Suzanne Tremblay
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
not as enjoyable as Madame Proust and the Kosher kitchen.....
Jul 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, arc, owned
Released today, A Man in Uniform is, according to the description offered by the publisher, Doubleday Canada:
"A seductive new novel from the author of the award-winning bestseller Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen. Taylor returns, again to France and too a divisive time within the country.

At the height of the Belle Epoque, the bourgeois lawyer François Dubon lives a well-ordered life. He spends his days at his office, his evenings with his aristocratic wife — and his afternoons with his gen
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1894 a French artillery Captain was accused of, tried and convicted of treason. He was sent to Devil's Island. A few people felt that the charges were false and he was framed. Eventually more and more people called for a retrial or an appeal, including the world famous writer Emile Zola who wrote one of his most famous pieces "J'Accuse" about the incident. The case broke the back of the military and the Catholic Church in France. He was eventually quitely given a pardon and reinstated in the ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dreyfus
I thoroughly enjoyed Kate Taylor’s novel about a French lawyer who decides to do some undercover work to search for evidence that will prove the innocence of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the artillery officer condemned to life imprisonment in 1894 for a crime he didn’t commit. François Dubon has a small law practice and has settled into a comfortable life with a family, a mistress and no real ambitions. One day a mysterious woman in black engages his services to help her appeal Dreyfus’ unjust convic ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: farce
I enjoyed the book but couldn't make up my mind what it was: a light mystery or a farce. Actually, I feel it could be called a mixture of the two genres. The dust jacket called it "classic noir", which I thought was misleading. I found myself smiling at some of the antics in the Counterespionage office. I give it closer to 2.5 stars, but it doesn't make the 3 star cut.

The story is completely fiction but for the fact that there actually was a Capt. Alfred Dreyfus convicted of espionage, drummed
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lucky me, I had a book I had been looking forward to for my recent blizzard reading: A Man In Uniform by Kate Taylor. I read her first novel, Madame Proust's Kosher Kitchen and absolutely loved it. This new novel is based on The Dreyfus Affair. In 1894 a French court found Captain Alfred Dreyfus guilty of treason and he was sent to Devil's Island. The arrest and trial were widely criticized and became the most publicized civil rights outrage of it's day. It took about ten years for Dreyfus to be ...more
François Dubon, rising Paris attorney, must believe that he "has his cake and is eating it, too." He is married to an attractive woman from a well-connected family in Frances' Belle Epoque society guaranteeing him a long line of well-paying clients. He also discreetly keeps a mistress which he sees each weekday then faithfully leaves early enough to eat family dinner. His well-ordered life is disrupted one day, however, when an attractive, but sad, widow dressed in black, accidentally enters his ...more
A wills & trusts lawyer in 1897 Paris turns detective to win Dreyfus an appeal.

Francois Dubon is in his mid-40s and has left behind his liberal crusade of defending Communards to have a comfortable bourgeois life. Then a beautiful widow walks into his office, and he finds himself going undercover in a military counter-intelligence office to help free a man wrongly convicted of espionage.

The Dreyfus affair was a pivotal moment in French history, and “A Man in Uniform” lets the modern reader
Shonna Froebel
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
This novel is set in nineteenth-century Paris and revolves around the Dreyfuss Affair. Admittedly, I didn't actually know that much about this before I read the book, so besides getting entertained, I also learned a lot.
The main character here is François Dubon, a lawyer who married into a family above his own social status. Both of his brothers-in-law are in the military, one as a Major and one as a Captain. Dubon was involved with the Communards in his youth, but that information is only known
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Dubon leads a very comfortable life as a lawyer and family man in Paris in the late 19th Century when the country is up in arms about the Dreyfus affair. He is very predictable including his scheduled meetings with his mistress who he leaves promptly each weeknight to have a nice family dinner with his wife and son. His life presumingly would have gone on like this indefinitely until one day a mysterious woman called on him in his office one afternoon. Charmed and intrigued by her, he suddenly i ...more
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This recreation of part of the Dreyfus case makes a fascinating read but it would help to have read the history of the case first - or certainly afterward. The characters in MS Taylor's novel are very real and make the atmosphere in Paris quite clear so there is no doubt as to the rationale behind the coverup. I rather liked Genevieve and sympathized with her attempts to live pleasantly with her husband while still belonging to her own family. Marrying between social groups is difficult when tho ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some of you may be familiar with the infamous Dreyfus affair but before this month in 2014, I would have sworn I had never heard of it. Of course, since then, I’ve seen countless casual references to it so it was probably around me all the time.

Wikipedia says: “The Dreyfus affair (French: l’affaire Dreyfus) was a political scandal that divided France from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. The affair is often seen as a modern and universal symbol of injustice, and remains one of the most strikin
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good reads-winner.
A very good mystery suspense novel based in post napoleonic paris with controvesial thoughts whether the military should base their decisions on "needs of the nation" or the truth. It surrounds the life of a lawyer who practices family law who is approached by 'a widow' to look into the conviction of a military officer for treason. The lawyer married a woman whose father and brothers are military officers of high regard. It seems everyone but the close family/friends of the
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lorraine by: LT Early Reviewers
A nice mystery set in France in the late 1800s. There's enough historical detail to create the scenes, but not so much to bog down the story. It's actually interesting to read about the characters using photography and telegrams and refer to speaking tubes and electricity as recent innovations.

The story is about a dull lawyer who ends up with a crazy case that requires him to do some crazy stunts as a detective, while balancing his home life and his mistress. The story is not too intense or com
Heather Collett
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
More of a 3.5. There are many things I liked about this book. For one I liked how this book to me did not feel like historical fiction. It didn't spend time telling you about history. It seemed to be just contemporary book just happening to take place in late 1800's. I also like how the end was brought together with detail concluding something in the mystery. What I did like was how the "bad guy" was extremely predicable. I could see it right from around the middle or before in the book. I don't ...more
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written detective novel which takes place in late 19th century Paris, A Man in Uniform is a fictionalized account of the aftermath of the Dreyfus Case. There are many twists and turns in the this well plotted spy thriller which starts out slowly but builds to a well reasoned conclusion. I found it difficult to put down and very involving. The author pokes fun at the bigoted and narrow French society of the day, but in the end produces a very entertaining and riveting novel. I could not pu ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's a compelling story here - a lawyer is hired by a woman trying to uncover the truth around the military imprisonment of her husband in pre-WWI France. Said lawyer goes undercover in the French military establishment to try to find out information. The historical underpinnings of this novel are wonderfully evocative of the time, and intricate in its detailing of the workings of military and civic bureaucracy. However, the novel's protagonist is just so....boring!! I didn't find him endeari ...more
Marie Claude
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Based on a real case that had a big impact on France, this book tells the story of a lawyer who finds himself in an undercover mission, trying to prove the innocence of Dreyfus who is accused of treason.

Before meeting "Mr Dreyfus' good friend", Dubon's life was simple: he had his law practice and he met his wife for dinner after a visit to his mistress. But now, all bets are off, he's late for dinner, his mistress is ready to trade him for another and he's running around the city trying to avoi
Bruce MacBain
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable fictional interpretation of the the Dreyfus affair. Set in Paris in 1896, a realestate lawyer, Maitre Dubon, finds himself inadvertently hired to prove the innocence on the Jewish artillery officer who was sent to Devil's Island on a specious charge of spying for Germany. Poor Dubon finds himself neglecting both his wife and his mistress as he is drawn deeper into the investigation. I think one reason I liked the book is because Dubon reminds me of Pliny the Younger, the hero of ...more
The book title sounded interesting, so after I got the book, I researched "The Dreyfus Affair" and Alfred Dreyfus. Knowing something about the background of this historical novel puts the story in perspective. The historical fiction is based on Albert Dreyfus who was sentenced to Devil's Island for selling military secrets to the Germans - when in fact, he was only the scapegoat. Rest of the story is fiction with an inept little barrister playing detective and finding the real traitor.
George Ilsley
There is much to love here, but Taylor lost me with the plot twist where Dubon, a lawyer, puts on a uniform and impersonates a military officer in order to gather information. I was unconvinced. Dubon had taken risks earlier in life, but he was a family man with a position to maintain and responsibilities. I did not believe that was an option he would have chosen to pursue. That plot twist turned the novel into a bit of a farce.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story as I only knew that there had been something called "The Dreyfus Affair" in France. At the end of the 19th century, a man was accused of selling secrets to the Germans, tried and sent to Devil's Island. This novel follows the efforts of the lawyer, Dubon, hired to locate the information that will set Dreyfus free. I liked that it was set in Paris, that it showed French life at the time, and it was simply an interesting/enjoyableread.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant read. Historical fiction set in Belle Epoque Paris. Its kind of a love story (the guy has a wife and a mistress to keep happy and he's interested in the new mysterious lady). Its kind of a spy thriller (he steals a uniform and infiltrates the counterintelligence bureau) and it is historical fiction it centers on the Dreyfus Affair (you learn a bit about the feelings and controversies it roused). Not literature, but I enjoyed it.
Susan Tauster
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having read a non-fiction book covering The Dreyfus Affair, the description for A Man in Uniform caught my eye. The book did not disappoint. The author does an excellent job capturing the period, through speech patterns, social customs, etc. It's truly a gripping read. She gives the real Dreyfus story an Interesting angle while keeping you turning pages. I'm eager to go back and read her first novel, which won awards.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

This is the page for Canadian novelist and cultural journalist Kate Taylor, author of Mme Proust and the Kosher Kitchen and A Man in Uniform.

British sex columnist Kate Taylor is the author of Not Tonight, Mr. Right.

American arts journalist Kate Taylor is the editor of Going
More about Kate Taylor...