'A a novel that brilliantly evokes the casual brutality of life in 18th-century France.’ Sunday Times
1775. Commissioner Nicolas Le Floch is on a diplomatic mission to Vienna, ostensibly to deliver a bust of Marie Antoinette to her mother, the Empress Maria Theresa. His real task, however, is to investigate the breakdown of French secret intelligence in Austria. The city is a hotbed of plotting – and Nicolas only just survives an attempt on his life.
On his return to France, Paris is in turmoil. The soaring price of grain and bread is causing widespread social unrest, and Nicolas’ first police case is the unexplained death of a baker. Could it be that events in the French capital are somehow connected to his experiences in Vienna …?
‘An engaging murder mystery that picks away at the delicate power balance between king, police and state.’ James Urquhart, Financial Times
‘Succeeds brilliantly in its reconstruction of pre-revolutionary Paris, in splendid period detail, and in its philosophic asides …’ Douglas Kennedy, Sunday Times
‘It’s the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles’ Marcel Berlins, Sunday Times
‘Reads like a cross between a Maigret mystery and Les Liaisons Dangereuses …’ Mail on Sunday
‘Very strong on conveying convincing detail of the period’Eurocrime
‘One’s attention is constantly drawn either by the developments of the investigation, the evocation of ancient culinary curiosities, or just by life in 18th century Paris.’ Emma’s World
‘You could almost hear the crunch of the snow, the squelch of the mud and skulk in the shadows of dark and smoky candle-lit rooms.’ Chasing Bawa
‘With swashbuckling style, Parot’s prerevolutionary French characters will captivate readers with their sly humor, dastardly deeds, and, yes, honorable intentions. Don’t miss!’ Library Journal