No, it’s not true that I own all the books written about Paris that are available in English, but I do own quite a few. Many were purchased in Paris (I know where all the English-language bookstores are in Paris and many of the French ones as well) on my trip in 2004 (I had to get an extra suitcase to cart them home) and hopefully, I'll get around to reading them all some day. Here are some I have read and can recommend. Click on the book thumbnail to go directly to for more information and/or to purchase.


The following three books written by Thirza Vallois, who has lived in Paris for over thirty years and has guided many people around Paris. These books are deeply researched and each covers certain arrondissements. I bought mine in Paris, but I found that they are available on I highly recommend them if you like to know the details about the places you visit.

Around and About Paris Vol. 1

Amazon Price $29.95

Around and About Paris, Vol. 1: From the Dawn of Time to the Eiffel Tower (1995) Covers the 1st through 7th arrondissements

Around and About Paris, Vol. 2

Amazon Price $29.95

Around and About Paris, Vol. 2: From the Guillotine to the Bastille Opera (1996) Covers the 8th through 12th arrondissements

Around and About Paris, Vol. 3

Amazon Price $29.95

Around and About Paris, Vol. 3: New Horizons: Haussmann's Annexation (1999) Covers the 13th through 20th arrondissements.

Paris Eyewitness Travel

Amazon Price $15.75

Paris (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by DK Publishing (main contributor: Alan Tillier). My version is from 2000, but the version shown is the 2006 update. As usual, DK has published a fascinating book full of pictures, maps, and schematics.

Rick Steve's Paris

Amazon Price $29.95

Rick Steves’ Paris 2006. I have the 2004 version, but the new version doesn’t appear to be much different. The book is grouped mostly about walks through different areas of Paris with background on the places along the routes. He also gives good tips and warnings, especially if you are visiting Europe for the first time. 

Irreverent Guide to Paris

Amazon Price $11.47

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris, 6th Edition by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince. I have the 5th edition, but it probably hasn't’t changed much. Includes sections on accommodations, where to eat, etc., but includes some different ideas of how to spend your time especially if you like the nightlife.

Art/Shop/Eat Paris

Amazon Price $11.44

Art/Shop/Eat Paris by Delia Gray-Durant. The back cover says this little book is for “Art lovers who also love food and shopping. Includes details about the art museums and also commercial galleries.

Born to Shop Paris

Amazon Price $10.87

Suzy Gershman's Born to Shop Paris by Suzy Gershman. I never get around to visiting many of the shops I’d like to (mostly to window shop), but she has some good tips for any shopping you do in Paris.

Seven Ages of Paris

Amazon Price $10.40

Seven Ages of Paris. I’ve just finished this book by the celebrated British journalist and historian Alistair Horne, who has written extensively about Paris for many years. A well-written and fascinating trip from the Romans to 1969.

The Road from the Past

Amazon Price $11.05

The Road from the Past: Traveling Through History in France. Written by Ina Caro, who has visited France every year (I’m envious) with her husband, historian Robert A. Caro. Ms. Caro takes us on a tour of France in sort of chronological order and only covers Paris in the last part of the book, but it’s well worth the read.

Paris: The Collected Traveler

Amazon Price $11.86

Paris: The Collected Traveler: An Inspired Anthology and Travel Resource (September 2000). This is part of a series by Barrie Kerper, an avid traveler who has always made it a practice to research the places she is going to visit in order to enjoy these destinations in depth. (I share this habit to some extent and this website is attempt to collect my findings in one place.) Kerper found people interested in her research and created these books are a collection of helpful tips, essays and prose to lend a richness to your travels.

Savior Flair!

Amazon Price $11.02

Savoir-Flair: 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French by Polly Platt and Illustrated by Andre Grchich. Polly Platt has lived in Paris since 1967 and runs Culture Crossings, a training organization to prepare corporate transfers and their spouse to co-exist among the French. I know I learned some important tips not found in guidebooks.
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Cara Black (an American) has written seven Aimee Leduc Investigation Mysteries and I’m taking the 5th one now in paperback, Murder in Clichy, with me to Paris this July (2006). Aimee Leduc is a French/American private investigator specializing in computer security who grew up and works in Paris. Her father was first a police detective and then a private investigator who was blown up and her mother left her family when Aimee was young. The only person who seems to care about her is her partner. The mysteries take place in the early 1990s and each one takes place in a different area of Paris and involves different issues confronting the French today or festering ones from their past. I’ve yet to find them in a regular bookstore (I got the last one in Paris), but Amazon stocks them. The books are listed in chronological order and should be read in order to fully understand the characters. 

Murder in the Marais

Amazon Price $10.01

Murder in the Marais. This first book introduces the characters and deals with a mystery from World War II.

Murder in Belleville

Amazon Price $10.40

Murder in Belleville. This 2nd book involves the immigrant quartier and into the world of illegal Algerian immigrants.

Murder in the Sentier

Amazon Price $10.01

Murder in the Sentier. This installment deals with a mysterious phone call claiming to know the truth of her mother’s disappearance, which may tie into 1960’s terrorism.

Murder in Clichy

Amazon Price $9.24

Murder in Clichy. This is the one I’m taking on the plane to Paris. This one has to do with ancient jade once looted from Indochina.

Murder in Montmartre

Amazon Price $14.95

Murder in Montmartre (hardback, March 2006). This newest entry in the series deals with a childhood friend, now a policewoman, accused of shooting her partner and Corsican separatists. Paperback to be published March 2007.

Murder in Ile Saint-Louis

Amazon Price $14.95

Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis (slated to be published March 2007). This one will find Aimee finding and taking in an abandoned baby, her search for the mother, and ecological protestors and oil company tycoons.
This website was created by and is maintained by Marta Carvajal. All material is created by Marta Carvajal or used with permission. © 2006