Synopses & Reviews
On a sultry night in June 1897, Pyotr Ivanovich Balenov, a young Russian, and two young women transport a dead man through the narrow streets of a working class neighborhood in northeastern Paris. They throw the body into the canal and the girls flee to the Latin Quarter to hide with one of the Russian's anarchist "comrades." They do not realize they, too, are being watched.
Their subsequent disappearance and the violent acts that follow will set Clarie Martin, a teacher and mother of a toddler, and her husband, magistrate Bernard Martin (last seen in Cezanne's Quarry and The Blood of Lorraine) on a dangerous quest to rescue them from a vicious killer.
"Pope's engaging third mystery featuring magistrate Bernard Martin (after 2011's The Blood of Lorraine) shines a light on both the glamor and the grime of late-19th-century Paris. Two Italian sisters who have grown up in a Paris slum, 17-year-old Maura and 18-year-old Angela Laurenzano, enlist the aid of accused Russian anarchist, Pyotr Ivanovich, in disposing of the body of Angela's abusive seducer in a canal. After Pyotr disappears, they fear that the police will charge them with murder. When the sisters themselves go missing, Francesca Maura and Angela's charwoman mother turns to Clarie, Bernard's wife, for assistance. Clarie, who is used to her genteel life as a teacher, must confront a bewildering world of revolutionaries and radicals, of the desperate and the devious. While the plot flounders at points, Clarie's struggle to balance her role as a bourgeois wife and mother against her investigative instincts will entice readers. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A highly accomplished, compelling novel. Beneath an exquisite veneer of historical detail lurks a thoughtful exploration of religion." Boston Globe
"An intriguing, richly drawn historical mystery. Pope handily blends genuine figures and events into her fictional bouillabaisse of art, science and mystery." The Seattle Times
"Fascinating. With a bleak view of humanity similar to Emile Zola's, this story of tortured love and repressed violence resembles Iain Pears at his darkest." Booklist (starred review)
"A fascinating look at the rise of anti-Semitism in France after the arrest of Alfred Dreyfus for treason in 1894. Pope with great skill makes the atmosphere of the times both palpable and tragically prophetic." Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
In the third crime novel in the critically acclaimed Bernard Martin mystery series, young immigrant girls are disappearing into the depths of turn-of-the-century Paris.
About the Author
Barbara Corrado Pope is a historian and the founding director of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon. She is the author of the novels Cézanne's Quarry and The Blood of Lorraine. Barbara lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband.