City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First by Holly Tucker

By Holly Tucker

“A fierce story of conspiracy and retribution… because of Tucker’s sympathetic necromancy and her luscious resurrection of daily aspect, even in gilded palaces the human psyche turns out familiarly deceitful and self-justifying.” ―Michael Sims, writer of The tale of Charlotte’s Web and Arthur and Sherlock

Appointed to overcome the “crime capital of the world,” the 1st police leader of Paris faces a virus of homicide within the past due 1600s. Assigned via Louis XIV, Nicolas de l. a. Reynie starts via clearing the streets of grime and fitting lanterns all through Paris, turning it into the town of Light.

The fearless los angeles Reynie pursues criminals during the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the town. He finds a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade clergymen. As he exposes their unholy paintings, he quickly learns that nobody is secure from black magic―not even the solar King. In an international the place a royal look can flip luck into shame, the gap among the quietly back-stabbing global of the king’s courtroom and the felony underground proves disturbingly brief. Nobles settle rankings via utilising witches to craft poisons and by means of hiring monks to accomplish darkish rituals in Paris’s such a lot illustrious church buildings and cathedrals.

As los angeles Reynie keeps his investigations, he's haunted by way of a unmarried query: may Louis’s mistresses may be desirous about such nefarious plots? The pragmatic and principled los angeles Reynie needs to come to a decision simply how some distance he'll visit safeguard his king.

From mystery courtrooms to torture chambers, City of sunshine, urban of Poison is a gripping true-crime story of deception and homicide. in keeping with millions of pages of court docket transcripts and los angeles Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, in addition to on letters and diaries, Tucker’s riveting narrative makes the attention-grabbing, real-life characters breathe at the page.

eight pages of illustrations; 1 map

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Additional resources for City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris

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Ramshackle homes leaned precariously against one another in the tangled network of alleyways and narrow streets. Inside, families took turns sleeping on a single, shared mattress in their crowded quarters. For the even less fortunate, the streets were home. Men, women, and children made gaunt from hunger roamed the neighborhood dressed in dirty and tattered clothing that barely covered their skeletal frames. Some had found ways to fashion makeshift shoes from odd pieces of leather gathered from a nearby tannery, wrapping the leather around their feet with twine.

Paris was out of control; it was time to “purge the city of what was causing its disorders”—starting with the archaic and labyrinthine system of policing. On March 15, 1667, at Colbert’s urging, Louis created the position of lieutenant general of police. ” He would police the city’s major markets as well as control any unsanctioned gatherings in Paris. The lieutenant general would also have full supervision of the prisons at the Châtelet complex. The challenge lay in finding someone who was not so ingrained in the system as to be incapable of the creativity and determination required to assert control over an unruly city.

Bypassing all polite greetings, the man launched into vitriolic complaints about defects in the watch he had bought a year earlier. When the watchmaker protested, his customer smashed a heavy sword into the watchmaker’s head, leaving him dead. The new accessibility of pistols across social classes turned an already dangerous city into an even more deadly one. The product of the sixteenth-century discovery of saltpeter, guns revolutionized early European warfare overnight. By the 1640s the French had perfected flintlock-firing technology, which made guns much lighter, smaller, and less expensive to produce than traditional wheel-lock guns and rifles.

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