(Headline, £14.99, ebook £7.49)

SINCE winning the Telegraph’s First Thousand Words Of A Novel competition with her debut in 2007, Darlington-raised and London-based Imogen Robertson has built a name for herself as a writer of atmospheric historical thrillers.

The Paris Winter evokes the emerging world of women painters in the city in the early 20th Century. Against this backdrop, an unlikely friendship forms between Maud, a reserved and impoverished Englishwoman, and wealthy Russian emigree Tanya and Yvette, a streetwise Parisian model.

Each woman has her part to play in avenging Maud’s attempted murder and their fight for justice leads all three to confront their background and break away from their history.

At times, though, the characterisation falls short and the resolution feels a little rushed, but Robertson’s slick writing and ability to craft a good story will keep readers hooked until the final page. Opulent fun.

Sarah Reid