An Excerpt from Murder On The Rue Cassette, Publishing Soon
Levi Busacca handed Serafina a large envelope. “Your tickets to Paris. First class accommodation on the Niger bound for Marseille. With the best of weather, the trip will take two days. In Marseille, my agent will meet you. He’ll ensure your safety for the remainder of your trip on the train and see to your needs while you’re in Paris. Once you arrive, you’ll be staying at the Hôtel du Louvre. I’ve booked a wing on the eighth floor for your party. Will you need a translator?”
She rubbed her forehead. “I’ve been to Paris. The language ought to return, and I have a daughter in Paris who designs for the House of Grinaldi.”
“I know La Grinaldi and her house,” Busacca said, scowling.
Serafina was silent.
“A newcomer, but popular. Success has come too easily to her. We’ll see how long it lasts.”
She shrugged, her face signaling disagreement.
He continued. “The retainer should cover your expenses for at least a month. My card is enclosed with an invitation to be fitted at my store on the Rue de la Paix for suitable hats. We have the best designers in the city. You will pardon my effrontery, I notice you seldom wear one, but you’ll need a head covering in Paris, not only to ward off the chill of their spring, but for respectability. Contact my sister for whatever other attire or monies you need. Her address is in the letter.”
Serafina’s cheeks burned at his condescension. She couldn’t bring herself to thank him. She never wore hats. Didn’t need them; didn’t suit her, a luxury she couldn’t afford. She doubted she’d do as he suggested. “Does your sister know of my arrival?”
Photo: A room furnished in the Louis Quinze style. Musée Nissim de Camondo, Salon des Huets, Paris. Wikipedia Commons.