The Mystery of Henri Pick is about how such a pragmatic man, a local pizza maker, could write such a beautiful novel.
Delphine is an editor at a small French publishing house. She selects Frederic’s book, The Bathtub, from her slush pile and publishes it. It bombs. However, Delphine and Frederic fall in love.
While visiting Delphine’s parents, the pair find an unpublished book in the back corner of a library. It is called The Last Hours of a Love Affair. It intermingles the end of an affair with the hideous death of the Russian poet Pushkin. The book was written by a recently deceased local, Henri Pick. Delphine loves the book. She visits the widow Pick and receives permission to publish the book. The book becomes a hit! Could Henri really have written such a great novel? Or was the library’s owner the real author?
The Mystery of Henri Pick reminds me of a Seinfeld episode about nothing—minus the humor, unfortunately. I was only about 10% into the book when I figured out the twist ending. I kept reading assuming it couldn’t be that simple. It was. 2 stars.
Thanks to Steerforth Press, Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.