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The Paris Key

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,691 Ratings  ·  390 Reviews
An American in Paris navigates her family's secret past and unlocks her own future, in this emotionally evocative novel by New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell.

As a girl, Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle's side. But since then, living back in the States, she has become mor
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Berkley Books
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Judie Rated PG. Nothing graphic at all. No bad language that I can think of. It is a charming, lovely book. I loved it.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own

Genevieve's uncle who lived in Paris passed away and since she is getting divorced from her cheating husband, Jason, she decides to go to Paris. Her cousin Catharine asks her to come over and try to sort things out.

I really loved that Genevieve went to Paris and she got to see some friends that she couldn't even remember from when she was little. She had spent time over there with her uncle Dave and his wife and he taught her all about being a locksmith!


Genevieve always wore a key around her n
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Paris, memories, keys, and family secrets.

Genevieve needed to go back to Paris to her uncle's shop not only to get away from her soon-to-be ex-husband, but to take over Uncle Dave's lock and key shop that she had loved as a child. Little did she know that she would find family secrets as well.

Both her mother and uncle had passed, but the city held wonderful memories for Genevieve as well as for her mother as we go back and forth in time seeing Angela, Genevieve's mother, in Paris and her uncle w
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This book made me fall in love with Paris. I could just imagine myself walking along with Genevieve while she sat at a cafe, walked along the cobblestone streets, saw some of the sights, or just being with her in the small neighborhood. It's not a "must-read" or something that's going to excite the masses. It's a book that had me riveted anyway. If a book can make me feel wistful and have me believing that I'm inside the pages, it's worth 5 stars. If only I had the resources and the courage to u ...more
Laurence R.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
While this novel is certainly not my favorite, I really liked it!

As a French speaking person, books where there's French and English are always ones that I enjoy, because I get to compare two languages and see how hard it is to do the opposite of what I did, which was learn English. Although I'm not actually French and I've unfortunatelt never been to Paris, I love to read about France in general, because my family comes from there and it sounds beautiful and amazing, except from the rude waite
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because I needed something that would be fairly quick to listen to during my commute to and from work this past week. I thought this book sounded kind of interesting, but if I'm being honest with myself I truly decided to read it because I liked the cover. I know. Horrible!

After finding out her husband has been having an affair, Genevieve decides to move to Paris to take over her recently deceased uncle's locksmith shop. Her aunt, who suffers from Alzheimer's, thinks Genev
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it

3 stars. I liked the characters in this story. I also liked that the story had different threads to follow. I think sometimes they needed a little more depth. But even with that being said, some of the scenes were written so well, I felt I was actually there watching it. I think the depth I wanted was with the characters and how they got from point A to point B. There seemed to be an awful lot of leaping over given facts, which then always resulted in long wordy explanations to explain what just
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Full review is here

A bit too predictable for my taste. The writing is beautiful, however, it's like exploring Paris yourself and this book makes me want to go there. Oh, how I wish there are twist and turns, the book would be much more interesting. The clues are just too big, as a book about a woman trying to uncover the family's past, this book is far from mysterious.
Ooh I loved this ... falling in love with a cover paid off this time.

Why I loved it? ... just because. Does that cut it? It's a story that spoke to me for no one reason I can put my finger on ... it just did.

... "there is something delightful about helping a key find its way back to a lock, so it can do the work it was meant for. "

"Are you going to let yourself be defeated by a little lock? Remember Genevieve: Love laughs at locksmiths! Trust your old uncle."

The story moves seamlessly from Gene
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved "The Paris Key". A few elements in the approach kept the book from reaching full-fledged éclat. I enjoyed Juliet's capable venture into standard adult fiction. She could burst out from the "cozy genre" bonds more boldly and needn't have translated obvious French words but wrote a fine novel. I merely loathe synopsises that dramatically tout discoveries purportedly "reshaping the history of a family, forever!" These revelations solely concern Angel's 1983 summer. Something more ancient or ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Really good book! I have found a new author.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be rather boring, predictable, and disappointing. The writing however in which Paris is described is absolutely beautiful, so much so that I could almost imagine walking the streets of Paris myself.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Genevieve Martin returns to Paris after her uncle passes away to take over his locksmith shop. There is so much bureaucratic red tape for her to be able to work as a locksmith in Paris so she is unsure how long she will actually be able to stay, but she hopes things work out. Her aunt is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and her cousin has no desire to take over her father’s business. Before Genevieve has time to sleep off the jet lag she has customers at her door. The neighb
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I like stories set in two time lines, two characters, two cities. This ticked all the boxes. Alternately the story of Angela (mother) and Genevieve (daughter) set in America and Paris and in two distinct time frames made for a evocative, emotional, beautiful story.

On the death of her mother and uncle, Genevieve returns to Paris to try to organise her life, her thoughts and her future. With an interest in the art of locksmiths and a natural talent for it, she takes over her late uncle's shop in t
Bridget Vollmer
2 1/2 stars

I was really disappointed in this book, I found it boring and drawn out. I disliked the two main characters ( the mom and daughter) -(view spoiler)

The writing and visual descriptions of Paris were nice, but not much seemed to be happening thr
jb Byrkit
Very good book. This author is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. She does great research for her books. If you haven’t read her witchy series, give it a go. I love reading books about France and mysteries especially.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable book about a women escaping to Paris just like she did as a child. Love the locksmith setting and the charm of a neighborhood in Paris.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking. If I could rate it more than five stars, I would.
DNF - 85%

Why did I spend so much time reading a book where nothing has happened?

Blackwell does a really good job covering up her lack of plot with beautiful settings and great characterization. And why did we need all the flashbacks to the mom? Oh, that's right: the most predictable ending in literary history.

I wanted to love this book, because I love books set in Paris. I fell in instalove with the cover and couldn't wait to just get swept off my feet. But between a narrator that was really qui
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Juliet Blackwell is such a consistently good author. I had originally read her Art Lover's Mystery series of books. The co-author of those books was Blackwell's sister, who also happened to be one of my daughter's college teachers. Anyway, those four mysteries, under the name of Hailey Lind, were a lot of fun.
This book was a lot of fun, too! Genevieve (what a gorgeous French pronunciation is included in the story!) and her husband Jason are divorcing, so Genevieve decides to go to Paris to possi
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. Brought back wonderful memories of my visit to Paris a few years ago and really made me want to be there. Good story and characters. And in listening to this book, I learned the correct way to pronounce "Genevieve." I've been pronouncing wrong all these years and the correct way sounds beautiful!! I thought the narration was very well done.
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
I love the book. You have to understand that my cousin's wife is Parisian, and I have a cousin on my maternal grandfather's side that has lived in France for decades. She was a club singer and owns a music company called French Fried Music.

The stories I've heard about life in Paris come alive in this book.
❂ Jennifer
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
4.5 stars

All in all, it was a great book well written; one I'll read again someday when I need to visit Paris in my mind. Juliet Blackwell has yet to write a book I haven't thoroughly enjoyed.

Wordy, sort of gushy review:
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. Mainly it just made me want to go to Paris and maybe live there for a year but I would take my husband 😊
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Took me a bit to become engrossed in the story, once I did I took my time and enjoyed it.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I gave this book 3 stars (which is low for me...I usually don't finish books that I wouldn't call a 4 or 5) for two simple reasons.

1. It perpetuates the simplistic American view of Paris and France in general. Visits to the quaint local baker for baguettes in the morning (although knowing what French packaged bread is like, you're stupid to not buy it fresh). Fashionable women on every corner. Endless bureaucracy (ok that part is true). Paris is like New York; a huge metropolitan city with a div
“Genevieve slid open the 'special' drawer. It was full of ancient keys—many of which, like her necklace, bore little resemblance to keys today. She smiled as she picked up a black iron ring, from which jangled a dozen different skeleton keys: she remembered her uncle explaining that this was a Victorian-era thief's ring. Dave had always intended to write a book about such historic hardware.”

“Complete with photos, Genevieve, what to do you think? C'est super, n'est pas? I am going to call it: Lo
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The cover makes this book look like a Hallmark Christmas in July kind of movie, like where the heroine moves back to her hometown and meets her honest boyfriend from high school, the guy who drives a pickup truck and is, like, a carpenter who harvests his own wood and makes his own wildly popular coffee ("I'ts my passion," he says seriously while looking at her over the top of his mug).

But this book isn't really like that. It's about a woman who's separated from her husband who cheated, and she
Mary Bird
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, I am one of the people who picked this up because I love Blackwell's cozy mystery stories. I was kind of afraid it would be a gushy romance for some reason (the cover, though beautiful, is at least somewhat responsible), but I was very wrong. While there are romances in the book, as a whole it is much more about humanity and how we see people, including our own parents. It's a melancholic story, beautiful, sad, and hopeful, and I'm very glad I DID pick this up because, once again, Bl ...more
Michelle Carrell
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won
What a mind blowing read. I have been only reading YA books lately and forgot what it was like to read a book towards grown adults. I vividly saw what I was reading and let me tell you it was a block buster HIT. Amazing. Breathtaking. Mysteries, suspense, tears and finally happiness. This book has got it all. I cannot recommend this book enough. All roads lead to Paris. Paris holds the key to the secrets of one woman's heart and she doesn't even know it.
Susan Mcdonald
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked The Paris Key. It turned predictable and I was somewhat annoyed by some repetitive descriptions of locksmithing and the questioning tone at the end of several chapters. I also found there were too many characters without enough character development. However, I had a taste of what living in Paris could be like. I must say that this book appealed to me at first because the book jacket was so beautiful. I would give it 3 1/2 stars so I rounded up to 4.
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Books & Coffee: July 2017: The Paris Key 16 36 Oct 26, 2017 10:01AM  
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Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orc ...more
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“The rosé was dry and crisp and perfect. The baguette was ambrosia: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. What was it about bread in France? Like the French version of butter, it seemed to bear little relation to the item of the same name back home. Genevieve sliced a wedge of pâté, topped it with a cornichon, and made a little sandwich. Another glass of wine, a bit of cheese: P’tit Basque, tangy Roquefort, a stinky and delicious washed-rind Brie. Even the pear seemed better than the ones she was used to: the perfect combination of tangy and sweet, the juice running down her arm as she ate. Sated,” 1 likes
“I don’t blame you,” Genevieve said. “Sunnyvale isn’t exactly Paris.” 0 likes
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