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The Perfume Collector    by Kathleen Tessaro order for
Perfume Collector
by Kathleen Tessaro
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1955 and England is still pulling itself out of the ruin of World War II. Grace Munroe has a question. Why would someone name Grace Munroe their heir? Looks like she has to fly to Paris to discover why she is now a wealthy woman. Grace believed she was happily married until she found a clue that her husband was probably having an affair. Looking to escape this new aspect of her life, she flies to Paris to sort things out. Seems that Eva d'Orsey is her benefactor, a woman unknown to her.

At times, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro retreats to the 1920s as we watch Eva D'Orsey live her life in Paris, London and Monte Carlo - an exciting life on the fringes of high society.

From a happy existence, Grace finds herself falling deeper and deeper into the mystery of who Eva is. More important, why is Grace the recipient of Eva's large estate? The more she delves into Eva's life, the more Grace feels bereft of a happy childhood. Add to this the importance the making of perfume was to Eva, only exacerbating the mystery of this woman whom Grace had never met. The manufacture of perfume, I have to admit, I had never even considered. Now, after reading The Perfume Collector, I am in awe. What a tedious process with such glorious results. I shall never speed by a perfume counter ever again.

Tie this thread that weaves through the story to the human emotions that tear through Grace's heart and we have the makings of a spellbinder. Love, desire, and sacrifice. What more can one ask? Kathleen Tessaro is also the author of Elegance, Innocence, The Flirt and The Debutante. She can add The Perfume Collector to her list of hits.

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