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In the third crime novel in the critically acclaimed Bernard Martin mystery series, young immigrant girls are disappearing in to the depths of turn-of-the-century Paris
Praise for The Missing Italian Girl
"Pope plots Clarie's search for the missing girl with precision and restraint. The true draw here is her portait of women--and their not-so-equal rights--at the turn of the last century. Wonderfully engaging. Even in the face of senseless limitations, Clarie proves it is possible to find joy, truth--and even oneself." — O, The Oprah Magazine (Editor's Pick)
“An unlikely sleuth is drawn into another murder mystery in turn-of-the-century France…Pope's third mystery featuring Clarie (The Blood of Lorraine, 2010, etc.) expertly doles out pieces of its complex plot, a picaresque puzzle with satisfying period flavor.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The musings of Clarie about the wrenching inequity between the pampered women she teaches and those she and Bernard search for in back alleys gives us a window into this glamorous yet perilous time. Engrossing.”
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 northeaster Paris. They throw the body into the canal and the girls flee to the Latin Quarter to hid with one of Pyotr’s anarchist “comrades.” They do not realize they are being watched.
Their subsequent disappearance and the violent acts that follow will set these two girls; Clarie Martin, a teacher and mother of a toddler; and her husband, magistrate Bernard Martin on a journey through the dark heart of Paris, from the streets of Montmartre to an enclave of outcasts beyond the city walls in a dangerous quest to rescue them from a vicious killer.
PEGASUS BOOKS: $25.00 • Hardcover • 978-1-60598-408-7 • 320 pages • Mystery • February 13, 2013
In the wake of the Dreyfus Affair, the murder of two Jews in Nancy reveals the darker side of human nature. Magistrate Bernard Martin has moved to the town of Nancy in Lorraine, France, along with his pregnant wife Clarie, who is as fervent about Republican ideals as her husband. They are not in Nancy long when an infant boy is found dead, his tiny body mutilated. The wet nurse and mother say that this was a case of “ritual sacrifice” by a “wandering tinker,” or Jew.
As Martin delves deeper into the different personalities surrounding the case, he struggles to reconcile his Republican beliefs with his growing knowledge of Nancy’s Jewish communities, all while balancing the racial tensions and politics within the courthouse. Meanwhile his beloved Clarie, now reeling from the death of her own child, seems to be falling prey to the propaganda being spewed throughout town, forcing Martin to acknowledge the frailties of the human psyche. Fearing a vigilante mob sparked by the scandal-mongering press, Bernard must unveil the murderers before Nancy experiences her own pogrom.
The body of a beautiful woman lies on the floor of a sun-baked quarry, a fragment of painted canvas shivering on a thorny branch nearby. Could Paul Cezanne be Solange Vernet's killer?
The novice investigating magistrate Bernard Martin has only two weeks to prove that her murderer is either the artist, who is obsessively in love with Vernet, or her long-time paramour, Charles Westerbury, an English geologist with a shady past. To make the case against Cézanne or the Darwinian scientist, Martin must confront the ghosts of his own past as he struggles to understand the motives that led to Solange Vernet's violent end.
Was her fatal strangulation merely a crime of passion? Or did she die because she dared to step outside the traditional bounds of womanhood?
The early paintings of Paul Cezanne offer crucial clues to solving the crime.