My mom went on a Victor Canning kick at her University Library, and raved about Mr. Finchley Goes to Paris so much that she bought a copy online. It was a print-on-demand, version, though, so it has a few typos and the ghastly habit of only capitalizing the first word in the book and chapter titles.
If I didn’t love the book, that might be more a fault of my own, as I tend to reserve “love” for books with family secrets and buried treasures and young romance. It was, however, delightfully charming and redeemed by a harmless middle-aged gentleman, precocious child, and Parisian setting.
Said gentleman is Mr. Finchley, and fate contrives to send him to said setting through the means of a his company having a client who refuses to travel to England, his housekeeper needing time off to visit a sick sister, and the object of his affections being seemingly unwilling to enter into something more than friendship.
Nothing on the trip goes as planned, however, and soon his lot is thrown in with that of said child, an orphaned street urchin named Robert who takes it upon himself to act as Mr. Finchley’s Parisian guide. Of course, lots of adventures ensue, in an episodic fashion, and of course, everything ends up with a happy ending.
This is actually the middle of three books featuring Mr. Finchley, which my mom had not realized, and the first book was actually the first book that Canning published, becoming a runaway best-seller. He is better known today for his thrillers.