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The Sorbonne Affair

(Hugo Marston #7)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  608 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Someone is spying on American author Helen Hancock. While in Paris to conduct research and teach a small class of writers, she discovers a spy camera hidden in her room at the Sorbonne Hotel. She notifies the US Embassy, and former FBI profiler Hugo Marston is dispatched to investigate. Almost immediately, the stakes are raised from surveillance to murder when the hotel em ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Seventh Street Books
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  608 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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3.5 stars

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth”.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes

Words to live by. And they’ll occur to this book’s MC more than once as he picks away at his latest case.

This is book #7 in a popular series but the first time I’ve met Hugo Marston. After a career with the FBI, Hugo became the head of security for the American Embassy in Paris. Sweet gig.

In this outing, he has to deal with a temperamental author as he
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Successful novelist Helen Hancock finds a spy camera in a painting in her hotel room. Because of her connections, she contacts the embassy who then sends Hugo Marston to help. Suddenly bodies start piling up and secrets start coming out - some in video form. Working with his trusted friend, Tom, to take some interesting measures to solve this case, their own pasts start creeping up on them as well.

Book 7 in the Hugo Marston series, luckily this can be read as a stand alone! Phew! I'm sure there
Russ Skinner
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent entry in the Hugo Marston series. I did not see most of the plot twists coming, but they were legit.

Recommended, as are all the books in the series.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first Hugo Marston mystery and I am now a fan. The motivation of the culprit eluded me until the near end, but makes perfect sense. I also enjoyed the many Parisian details included throughout.
Viviane Crystal
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hugo Marston is attending a funeral when he is approached by a very well-known romance novel writer, Helen Hancock. Immediately after the funeral she asks him to help her as she’s discovered someone has planted a camera in her hotel room. The reader is puzzled about how important this was that she had to stalk Hugo out at a funeral and how she knew he was there. Later for that. For now, Hugo does discover a camera in her room but is unable to do anything more as Helen doesn’t want the hotel noti ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Let me begin this review by saying that Pryor’s last book, The Paris Librarian, should really be my favorite. (My maiden name is Harmuth, so if you’ve read it, you know why it should be so.) That said, The Sorbonne Affair has usurped the title of Sarah’s Favorite Mark Pryor Novel. The Agatha Christie vibe is strong in this one, and I love a Ms. Christie story! We begin this mystery at a funeral, where Hugo is approached by the writer Helen Hancock. She requests his help in discovering who may ha ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
These are palling for me. Don’t know if it’s the totally unremarkable writing or predictable plot turns. There’s often a case from the past that turns out to be important in the present...or not...that features Tom going off the rails. I like the Latin Quarter but Hugo doesn’t seem to, it’s just a stage set to pass through on the way to the 6th. The fictional high end hotel on rue de Écoles is kind of a laugh. Oh well, nothing lasts forever.
Lillian Martin
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it, as much as the others, which is a feat itself in a series. Hugo is still a very compelling character and the supporting characters are funny and interesting too. Tom’s retorts are instant classics. There was a lot of suspects, and some of the plot relied on coincidences, which seems a teeny bit lazy. Other than that, well done.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Forrest Miller

The author is having a little joke on the reader. The plot involves students learning, for purpose of profit, the formula for pulp fiction from a well-known author, and a more formulaic book than this is hard to imagine, right down to the bizarre Agatha Christie-style denouement. The hero is a boring bag of cliches evidently created to appeal to the US market. I liked the transgendered French cop though, she's the only likeable character here and worthy of a book of her own.
Jessica Higgins
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic behavioral analysis mystery that will have people wondering who the murderer could be.

Hugo Marsden is a former FBI profiler who now works at the US Embassy in Paris. While attending a funeral for a famous American movie star who spent her last years in France, Hugo is approach by Helen Hancock, a famous American romance novelist. She believes that she is being followed and soon finds a hidden video camera in her hotel room. Since she is American, the embassy allows Hugo to investigate
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: partner-read
Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

THE SORBONNE AFFAIR by Mark Pryor is book 7 in the Hugo Marston series, but it can be read as a standalone. Marston is a former FBI profiler and he is working at the US Embassy in Paris, France. When a spy camera is found in an American writer's hotel room, and then the bell hop is murdered, Hugo is on the case.

American novelist, Helen Hancock, is in Paris to research her upcoming book. She's also teaching a writin
Doward Wilson
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Meet Hugo Marston, former FBI profiler, now head of security for the American Embassy in Paris. When American romance author, Helen Hancock, discovers a spy camera in her room at the Sorbonne Hotel, Hugo is sent by the ambassador to check it out. The camera is real and when an employee of the hotel is found murdered in the stairwell, the action changes from surveillance to active investigation. With the cooperation of the local police force Hugo determines that the dead employee appears to be re ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE SORBONNE AFFAIR: A HUGO MARSTON NOVEL by Mark Pryor is #7 in this great mystery series.
“American novelist Helen Hancock is in Paris to research her work-in-progress and teach a writing class, when she discovers a spy camera in her room at the luxury Hotel Sorbonne.”
Hugo, as security at the American Embassy in Paris, is asked to look into this ‘problem’.
I like the character details in this series and also the great locale/sense of place. I am fond of Hugo, who seems a bit more ethical than ot
Dail Sams
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Hugo is approached at a funeral by Helen Hancock, an internationally famous romance author, who tells him she thinks she is being spied on in her Paris hotel room, he is thrust into a highly frustrating investigation. A surveillance camera is indeed found hidden in Hancock's room, and soon after, a hotel employee is found murdered in a hotel stairwell, and a sex video featuring Helen Hancock is posted on the Internet. Other employees, including an American hotel manager and the three studen ...more
Michael Springer
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy this series primarily for the descriptions of Parisian neighborhoods and (less so) for the smart-alecky banter between the hero, Hugo Marston, and his old pal Tom. By the way, is there really a job like Hugo's at the U.S. embassy? He seems to spend all his time on cases that have nothing to do with diplomatic matters. At least he has a good secretary.

This is a satisfying story revolving around an American romance author who has been photographed in a compromising situation in the lush Ho
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hugo Marston gets involved in murder again. We're back in Paris, and at the funeral of a famous American author, Hugo meets another American author, Helen Hancock, who claims someone is stalking her. She then calls his office to say that she thinks she's found a camera in her room. Soon, a hotel worker is killed with a kitchen knife on a hotel stairway. Hugo meets her three students. Then a video of Helen having sex with one of her students shows up on the internet. There is a little diversion o ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I had a holiday weekend to totally indulge in this latest Hugo Marston mystery! This is one of my favorite series, and while the first book is still my all-time favorite, this one is a pretty close second. In a nutshell, an internationally known romance author with waning sales is in Paris to work on a new book and augment her income by teaching a graduate-level, creative writing class. At first, I was a little disappointed that the central character was a writer - writers writing write ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the seventh Hugo Marston book in the series and I have read them all. In order. I have enjoyed the entire series even though I have found fault in the stories. This time I thought the motivation for murder a little weak, but what do I know. As usual, many Americans are involved. This time it is a romance author and the mystery begins with why there is a spy camera in her hotel room.
I have not always appreciated Marston’s hard-drinking, foul-mouthed side-kick, Tom Green, but in this stor
David Doel
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I have read several books from this series and enjoyed them This particular entry in the series missed the mark. For some reason Mr. Pryor elected to carry two stories through the book, one from the present (in forward time) and one from the past going backwards. The main story is in the present. The solution of the mystery probably makes sense, but it is a stretch that the hero sorted it out from the information given to the reader. The story from the past helps to define Hugo's partner, Tom Gr ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly Recommend

A new Hugo Marston book always lifts my spirits. I love this series. Ex FBI, now head of security at the American Embassy in Paris, Marston embodies the best in law enforcement. This is more important than ever in today's world. The transgender French detective fully respected and accepted by her subordinates, speaks volumes about the open minds of the French.
This story has humor, sadness, complexity but most of all a sense of kindness and humanity. It also has enough twists to
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a classic drawing room mystery. At the end, the protagonist gathers all of the suspects into a room, and reveals the killer. The story is well plotted, but that's the only good thing I can say about the book. The characters are cardboard, and the writing is sloppy. The book reads like it was just hacked out to meet a contractual obligation. One feature that I found particularly irritating was the way he used one character, who is a writer, to air his complaints about the literary world. ...more
Cindy Ladensack
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellently plotted mystery set again in the Paris literary world (I liked the way the opening scene ties into the previous book); this series is really one of my favorites (although it’s contemporary, plus it ventures a little into the the procedural/thriller categories a bit, neither of which are normally my thing). I especially appreciate the realistic, quietly funny way the characters relate to each other. If I had one quibble, I could take or leave the flashbacks—again, not super into th ...more
Virginia Van
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
American embassy security specialist Hugo Marston is called in to help when novelist Helen Hancock finds a spy-camera hidden in her Paris hotel room which is shows her in the embrace of Ambrosio Silva, one of her writing students.When a bell-hop is found dead in the hotel's stairwell, evidence on the dead man's computer suggests it was he who planted the bug. But why? Is it blackmail? If so, of whom? When Silva, too is murdered Marston realizes the plot is more complicated than it at first appea ...more
Taylor Holt
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
3.5 stars.
I really love the characters that Pryor has crafted in these novels. I was hooked from “The Bookseller” and though these books are sometimes uneven, I know I will also enjoy myself within the world. I particularly liked the plotting of this novel - romance novelist Helen Hancock was a very interesting, layered woman that the murder plot hinged upon. The stakes for Tom were super high in this installment and I loved a glimpse back into Hugo’s and his shared past. It helped uncover a la
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The slow unfolding of this murder mystery revolving around an American author in Paris was intriguing to follow, if unfortunate for the victims. A little more of Paris would have been nice, for we see a great deal of the interior of the hotel and little else. Motivation is the thread to follow here and the clever plot was quite interesting to unravel. Characters sharply drawn, so that the reader easily imagines sharing a glass of wine and a bit of conversation with any one of them. Always enjoy ...more
Linda Bogaard
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
3-4 stars. Am liking this "Hugo Marston" series. Have also read The Paris Librarian. Modern day Sherlock Holmes. Enough clues to keep me guessing and reading. Like his methodology, especially compared to his friend Tom who also makes an appearance in this story. Will probably read more in the series. This is the newest one. Having visited Paris last year, I enjoyed references to the city, especially the ones we became familiar with during our visit.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A solid mystery, but I didn't find it as engaging as other ones in the series. I loved the Paris setting, and thankfully there wasn't as many references to cups of coffee as the last one in the series. It definitely made me want to eat some brie though. The literary references throughout were an interesting touch, and there was a Sherlockian feel to this one. A great book to pass the time in the doctor's office.
Michelleandderek Nakagawa
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exciting as usual, this newest volume in the Hugo Marston saga also makes me happy I discovered this series. The crimes are always tricky to solve and Hugo, along with his roguish friend Tom, are such a blast to follow.
This particular book involved an American romance writer who claims to be being spied upon and Hugo is intent on unraveling what seems to a spiraling investigation involving murder, sex tapes, flagging book sales.
Susan Springer
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The strong points of this Hugo Marston series are the likeable characters and the descriptions of
Paris that remind us of our favorite places. American romance writer, Helen Hancock, has come
to Paris to finish her latest book and soon suspects that she is being spied upon. A series of murders
associated with the Sorbonne Hotel have Hugo baffled. The ending and the writing (although a
little better with each book) are just so-so. And yet I keep reading them -- go figure?
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Mark Pryor is a former newspaper reporter from England, and now an assistant district attorney with the Travis County District Attorney's Office, in Austin, Texas. He is the creator of the nationally-recognized true-crime blog D.A. Confidential. He has appeared on CBS News's 48 Hours and Discovery Channel's Discovery ID: Cold Blood.

THE BOOKSELLER was his first mystery novel and upon release was Li

Other books in the series

Hugo Marston (8 books)
  • The Bookseller (Hugo Marston, #1)
  • The Crypt Thief (Hugo Marston #2)
  • The Blood Promise (Hugo Marston #3)
  • The Button Man (Hugo Marston #4)
  • The Reluctant Matador (Hugo Marston, #5)
  • The Paris Librarian (Hugo Marston #6)
  • The Book Artist (Hugo Marston, #8)
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