#Blogtour The Mystery Of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos @DavidFoenkinos @PushkinPress @PoppyBookPR #TheMysteryOfHenriPick

The Mystery Of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos
Pushkin Press May 7th 2020

The delightful first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents: a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books

In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it.

The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate.

The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them.

My Review

The Mystery of Henri Pick immediately ticked all the boxes, it had libraries, it had books and it dived into the harsh world of publishing. it’s characters were wonderfully unique, from the ordinary to the eccentric.

Foremost was Delphine, intense, and full of ambition to succeed as an editor, to discover that one novel that would make her name. Her sidekick, boyfriend, and failed novelist Frederic trailed in her wake, often seemed hapless and at times selfish.

Their discovery of the dead pizza restaurant owner, Henri Pick’s novel in the library of reject manuscripts opened up a veritable can of worms, some a little unexpected.

His wife, Madeleine, daughter Josephine were of course shocked, disbelieving, but in a way it helped them grieve his death. I particularly liked the transformation of Josephine, from miserable divorcee to a woman in charge of her future, full of colour and vibrancy.

That is what I liked so much about this novel. Yes it was the mystery of why Henri Pick or if indeed he actually wrote it, but it was also about what happened after, it’s use as a catalyst for those who crossed its path.

You could see Delphine become more focused, more single minded, a willingness to sweep away those who stood in her way as she promoted and pushed the novel. Frederic retreated more into the background, almost forgotten, their relationship placed to one side, up for scrutiny from both parties. You could almost see resentments build as the all encompassing passion of new love disintegrated, as they unearthed each other’s faults, became annoyed and disillusioned.

As the novel gained success, and notoriety so it brought about the best and the worst of human nature. Pick’s small French town reaped the rewards of those who visited, the daughter and wife financial rewards but also closer scrutiny.

You watched as the unscrupulous crawled out of the woodwork eager to discredit Pick and his family, Josephine’s ex husband hell bent on wooing her back to share her new financial gains.

There were the cynics, the journalist who dug deep, determined to get to the truth as the author sowed seeds of doubt in our minds. Was Henri Pick really an author, craftsman of a love story full of tenderness, that perhaps his wife and daughter never quite saw?

Foekonoes led us on a merry dance, teased us, as he used his characters to full effect, gave us both the serious and humourous. You laughed out loud at the characters antics, at the situations he placed them in, you admired his take on the publishing world with its bitchy back handedness before he delivered the killer punch. He turned the novel on its head, threw in the unexpected, although I did have my suspicions!

It was a novel I loved for the authors ingenuity, for his willingness to take the ordinary and turn it into something unusual and unique. It was a story that wouldn’t look out of place on our screens, with its characters brought vividly and colourfully to life, and I for one would be an avid viewer.

As they would say in France, Bravo Monsieur Foenkinos.

I would like to thank Pushkin Press for a copy of The Mystery of Henri Pick to read and review and to Poppy Stimpson for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Novelist, screenwriter and musician David Foenkinos was born in 1974. He is the author of fourteen novels that have been translated into forty languages. Several of his works have been adapted for film, including Delicacy (2011). The Mystery of Henri Pick is the first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents.

‘It has always been a dream for French writers to be translated into the English language. I am especially happy that The Mystery of Henri Pick has been selected by the ‘Walter Presents’ program because it is as much literary as it is entertaining. I wanted my book to be a playful reflection of the literary world – filled with suspense and false leads. First and foremost – it’s a tribute to books and literature and to the writers that have long been heroes of mine.’DAVID FOENKINOS

ABOUT WALTER PRESENTS:

Walter Presents is a global streaming service dedicated to showcasing award-winning foreign-language drama. First launched in the UK in 2016 the service is named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino and is now available in the US, Australia and a number of European countries. You can watch world drama box sets from Walter Presents for free in the UK on all4.com/walterpresents

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