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When an elderly gardener at a suburban Paris travel lodge hands 16-year-old orphan Rachel and her 10-year-old brother Marcel a small carved and gilded nightingale and instructs them to flee from four men who are in ominous pursuit of them, the children end up in the custody of newly-promoted police inspector Zinedine, his wife Juliette, and a benefactor named Father Brunot.

"Le Rossignol Dore" ("The Golden Nightingale") is a swift-paced, French-language murder mystery that follows Zinedine from the streets of Paris to Marseille and back in a quest to reunite the children with their proper family. In the process, the powers of the small nightingale are revealed.

I found this book a charming and relatively quick read, written in such a way as to capture the strivings of second-generation Algerian immigrant Zinedine and the allures of beautiful France.

Ellen R. Sheeley