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Secrets & Showgirls

Occupied Paris....... A glitzy cabaret where nothing is what it seems....

(17 customer reviews)
Authors: Catherine McCullagh
Historical Fiction, World War II
153mm x 234mm

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Le Prix d’Amour, a vibrant Paris cabaret, is caught in the crossfire of the occupation. Everyone is being watched, and some of Le Prix’s colourful performers are hiding dangerous secrets. Monsieur Maurice manages Le Prix d’Amour, a successful Parisian cabaret, which boasts glitzy performers and sassy showgirls. But with the German occupation in June 1940, Maurice treads a fine line between his German patrons, the French police and the Gestapo as he hides the dark secrets of his performers. Two of his lively showgirls, Lily and Poppy, soon join Maurice in the hunt for an informer who threatens to betray them. With the Allied landings, the tension builds and Maurice is pushed to his limits as his performers finally take the fight to the invader in their own flamboyant way.

Secrets and Showgirls portrays an occupied Paris in which exotic cabarets existed uneasily under the heel of the invader. It follows the antics of Maurice, Lily and a glittering array of characters, but never loses sight of the battle to survive that characterised the life of the everyday Parisian.

Catherine McCullagh

Catherine McCullagh

Catherine McCullagh is a highly respected editor and author. She has worked as an editor and advisor on numerous military and Australian history books and has two published works to her name, Willingly into the Fray, a narrative history of the first 100 years of Australian Army nursing, and War Child, the true story of […]

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17 reviews for Secrets & Showgirls

  1. Fantastic new book from Catherine McCullagh. I was completely swept up in the lives of motley cast of dancers and employees at a Parisian cabaret during WWII. The characters and their stories were vividly drawn and it was easy to imagine the goings on in the cabaret and nearby boarding houses. An engaging and entertaining read.

  2. Love the colour and pace. I can easily picture Le Prix and the assortment of eclectic characters. It actually feels like I’m at a Vegas Burlesque Cabaret Show … in a good way !! I’m feeling it rather than just reading it.

  3. The adventures of the colourful characters of the little cabaret in Secrets and Showgirls do not disappoint and provide a new perspective on the oft-times brutal German occupation. For a reader new to the period, and possibly even new to Paris, the book opens an easy entrée to the heady lifestyle enjoyed by the Parisians and visitors to their beautiful city in the lead-up to the occupation and the dark days until liberation.

  4. The characters in this book are so rich in detail, their personalities dance off the pages!

  5. A highly entertaining and funny book about Paris during the liberation in 1944, following the D Day landings. The dancers and characters are unforgettable, as are the scrapes and misunderstandings they encounter as the try to survive the German occupation. Loved this offering from VRO [review site Voracious Readers Only].

  6. This was a wonderful and lovely story to read
    Well written to make you imagine it all playing out in your head 🙂

  7. An unusual story of German occupied Paris in the years 1940-1944. In so many stories I have read of the French occupation, stories of the continued success of the cabarets at the time have emerged. It seems that, against all odds, the fight for freedom amongst the Showgirls, management and all connected persons, was carried on directly under the noses of the German occupiers. Many of them were part of the Resistance. Magnificent bravery and sacrifice was a part of everyday life at that time. I enjoyed this story by Catherine McCullagh, her research is amazing and her resulting story a joy to read. Thank you.

  8. An excellent look at the cultural landscape of Occupied Paris during WWII! A cast of colorful characters, a vibrant setting, and lots of intrigue! I particularly enjoyed the character of Crecy, a vibrant, glamorous, sexually ambiguous female impersonator who proves to be the heart of Le Prix! I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the people who kept the arts alive during a turbulent, uncertain time!

  9. A beautifully written book which captivates you with every turn of the page. Incredible descriptions leaves you feeling like you are immersed in WW2 Paris and the intricacy of each characters personality enthrals you in their lives. Upon finishing this book I felt like I had left friends and a second life behind. A must read.

  10. Just finished this – I am a voracious reader and this is a page turner! Very much enjoyed the background of this book as I have not read much about France during the war. You cannot help but enjoy this book and I have this author now on my “go to” list!!

  11. Every outstanding modern drama has an engaging ensemble cast. Catherine McCullagh’s latest historical novel –
    ‘Secrets and Showgirls’ is no exception! Catherine weaves historical detail of what German occupied Paris was really like during World War Two, with the mystery of who might betray the close-knit community to the Gestapo. You will quickly fall in love with the glamorous cabaret performers that call Le Prix d’Amour home. I know I did.

  12. As a sometimes showgirl, I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the summary! I devoured it in just a few lazy hours, ready for the theatres to reopen after the pandemic and get back to dancing. I enjoyed all of the characters and La Prix so much, I felt like I was there.

  13. I very much enjoyed this book, the array of characters making it so very endearing. Plenty of action and suspense but largely a story of compromises made to survive dark days. I received a copy of this book through Voracious Readers Only.

  14. All right, so I don’t normally read that much historical fiction, and the times that I do, my choices typically center around Scottish lairds and English aristocracy. Anything about world wars was off the table, but then this. This was excellent.

    I absolutely loved this book. I think the setting of a Parisian cabaret was a unique idea and it lent a sense of lightness to the otherwise grim subject of war. The storytelling is superbly done – I was caught up right from the beginning and I loved how the author was able to weave together history and fiction. Descriptions were lush and I could easily imagine walking through the doors of Le Prix for some champagne with the artistes. The best part of it all, though, were the characters.

    With a diverse range of perspectives and personalities, the characters just made this novel. I loved the Le Prix family, and while each member had their own quirks (or preferences), they always came together to support one another. It was easy to fall into their routine at the cabaret, but when danger showed up on their doorstep, I was just as invested in their survival. Crecy, in particular, was my absolute favorite – we all should have a friend like Crecy. An intricate and captivating read, Secrets and Showgirls is a wonderfully captivating novel that will take you to another time and place.
    Thank you Voracious Readers and Catherine McCullagh for my copy!

  15. This was such an enthralling yet at the same time somber story filled with a vibrant host of ostentatious characters. The plot was very unique to and loaded with lavish vocabulary, a lot of humour and detail from start to finish. Very well written and very well researched. I absolutely loved it!

  16. Upon writing this review I’ve found a whole new appreciation for this book it left me feeling satisfied. I highly recommend this book to mature readers no doubt if you’re a fan of this genre you’ll want to add Secrets and Showgirls to your bookshelf.

  17. Secrets and Showgirls kept me guessing right up until the final page happy to say there was only one tiny detail I had pieced together before it took place but this in no way made for a predictable read, I’m certain this book is one I’d highly recommend to avid and new readers of this genre.

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