Special Feature: The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

Sometimes a book just grabs you with its unique mashup. When I saw that this one was a mashup between A Gentleman in Moscow and Moulin Rouge my curiosity was peaked. I haven’t read A Gentleman in Moscow but I have seen Moulin Rouge and I loved the color and flamboyant drama of the film. So needless to say I was like ‘tell me more’ when I saw this one!

Not only does this book have a flashy cover and mash up, it sounds like it’s going to have lots of things that might interest a variety of readers. Romance, espionage, queer American expat, history, war, and haute couture. I am super excited to be sharing a bit about this novel with all of you guys today. I think this one is going to have broad appeal for many readers who might not normally pick up a book like this. It sounds artistic, smart, and full of lots of different themes. I for one am really looking forward to this one!

Early reviewers have raved about this one and I am excited to see what others are saying about this one as it hits shelves this week! Author Timothy Schaffert has written a number of books and this appears to be one of his most anticipated novels yet! Keep reading for all the details and how to snag yourself a copy of this stunning book!


A Gentleman in Moscow meets Moulin Rouge in this stylish, sexy page-turner about Clementine, a queer American expat and notorious thief of rare scents, who has retired to Paris, only to return to her old tricks in hopes of protecting the city she loves when the Nazis invade in 1941.

Clementine is a seventy-two year-old reformed con artist with a penchant for impeccably tailored suits. Her life of crime has led her from the uber-wealthy perfume junkies of belle epoque Manhattan, to the scented butterflies of Costa Rica, to the spice markets of Marrakech, and finally the bordellos of Paris, where she settles down and opens a legitimate shop bottling her favorite extracts for the ladies of the cabarets.

In 1941, as the German’s stranglehold on the city tightens, Clem’s perfume-making attracts the notice of Oskar Voss, a Francophile Nazi bureaucrat, who comes to demand Clem’s expertise and loyalty in his mysterious play for Hitler’s favor. Clem has no choice but to surrender fully to the con, but while she knew playing the part of collaborator would be dangerous, she never imagined it would be so painfully intimate. At Oskar’s behest, and in an effort to win his trust, Clem recounts the full story of her life and loves, this time without the cover of the lies she came to Paris to escape.

Complete with romance, espionage, champagne towers, and haute couture, this full-tilt sensory experience is a dazzling portrait of the underground resistance of twentieth-century Paris and a passionate love letter to the power of beauty and community in the face of insidious hate.

About the Author

Author of five novels: The Swan Gondola, The Coffins of Little Hope, Devils in the Sugar Shop, The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, and The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters. Director of the (downtown) omaha lit fest. Contributing editor, Fairy Tale Review. Assistant Professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program.

“The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God” is part of the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program, and was the 2007 Omaha Reads one-book-one-city selection. “Devils in the Sugar Shop” was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a Book Sense pick.


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