Thursday, March 7, 2019

David Downie

David D. Downie has called Paris and the Marais home since 1986. He has written for over 50 publications worldwide including Bon Appétit, The Los Angeles Times, Town & Country Travel, The San Francisco Chronicle,, and He is the author of the critically acclaimed Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light, three Terroir guides, as well as several cookbooks and crime novels. He lives with his wife, Alison Harris, a photographer, and creates custom tours via his "Paris, Paris Tours" blog site.

Downie's new novel is The Gardener of Eden.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
Please understand, when I write “read” I mean listen: blind in one eye, I have low vision in the other. So, I listen to books, most of them read to me by my wife, or I use for audio. Right now, we’re reading A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré. I love his early books—A Small Town in Germany, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Some of his later novels didn’t work for me. This one proves le Carré is still the measure of greatness, the best spy fiction writer, ever. The hero is Peter Guillam, now white haired, the last of the disciples of the fictional spymaster, Smiley. Wonderful, un-put-down-able so far, above all for the characters and dialogue.

If ever an old tale, told again a few years back, is a must-read right now, and too topical for comfort, it is Robert Harris’s flawlessly, masterfully written An Officer and A Spy, about the Dreyfus Affair. Polanski is turning it into a movie, working on the streets of Paris as I type this. And the anti-Semitism that drove that shockingly nightmarish affair is rife—again—in France and elsewhere.

A very oldie but a very unexpectedly goodie thriller in the detective genre is the unappealingly named Bat Wing by Sax Rohmer. He wrote the Fu Manchu series and dozens of other mediocre books but this novel is excellent. Voodoo, murder, an elaborate frame up, moody, creepy settings in London and the English countryside, plus a budding romance, all the ingredients come together in this reassuring classic.
Visit David Downie's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Gardener of Eden.

My Book, The Movie: The Gardener of Eden.

--Marshal Zeringue