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The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection    by Dorothy Hoobler & Thomas Hoobler order for
Crimes of Paris
by Dorothy Hoobler
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The Crimes of Paris is one of the most entertaining and educational books I have read in a long time. Using the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911 as a jumping off point, authors Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler lead the reader into a thorough history of the beginnings of modern crime detection science as well as modern art history.

The city of Paris itself is really the main character in The Crimes of Paris. In the early 20th century, Paris was experiencing a golden age of art and culture as it entered the modern era, making it the temporary home of choice to such famous people as Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein. Unfortunately, not only did this lead to modern art, but also to more modern crime. Along with modern crime, came more modern methods of crime detection. One of the pioneers of modern criminology was Alphonse Bertillon. Many of the advances he made have led to the methods used today (the use of fingerprints being a major exception, as he did not believe it could help solve crimes).

Fans of both crime dramas and modern history will learn a lot from The Crimes of Paris. While far from a mindless, escapist read, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler's book is both enlightening and enjoyable, making it a must read for those wanting to learn more about criminology, modern history, or even Picasso.

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