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

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

by Holly Tucker

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"An artful reconstruction of seventeenth-century Paris with riveting storytelling." —The New Yorker

In the late 1600s, Louis XIV assigns Nicolas de la Reynie to bring order to Paris after the brutal deaths of two magistrates. Reynie, pragmatic and fearless, discovers a network of witches, poisoners, and priests whose reach extends all the way to the king’s court at Versailles. Based on court transcripts and Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, Holly Tucker’s engrossing true-crime narrative makes the characters breathe on the page as she follows the police chief into the dark labyrinths of crime-ridden Paris, the halls of royal palaces, secret courtrooms, and torture chambers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393248845
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 8,161
File size: 33 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Holly Tucker is the author of City of Light, City of Poison and Blood Work, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, and is a professor of French at Vanderbilt University. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and Aix-en-Provence, France.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xv

A Note on Currency xvii

Burn Notice xix

Part I "Day and Night They Kill Here"

1 Crime Capital of the "World 3

2 City of Light 15

3 The Street at the End of the World 26

4 To Market 35

Part II King of Hearts

5 Agitation without Disorder 43

6 The Dew and the Torrent 50

7 The Door Marked 1 55

8 "He Will … Strangle Me" 61

Part III "She Will Turn Us All into Poisoners"

9 The Golden Viper 69

10 "Madame Is Dying, Madame Is Dead!" 73

11 Poison in the Pie 77

12 An Alchemist's Last Words 80

13 The Faithful Servant 84

14 "Brinvilliers Is in the Air" 90

Part IV "Cease Your Scandals"

15 House of Porcelain 103

16 Offering 111

17 "The Sneakiest and Meanest Woman in the World" 114

18 "Burn after Reading" 121

19 Dinner Guests 126

20 The Question 134

21 Monsters 142

Part V "She Gave Her Soul Gently to the Devil"

22 Quanto 151

23 Search and Seizure 158

24 A Noble Pair 164

25 The Burning Chamber 170

26 "Beginning to Talk" 177

27 Fortune-Teller 185

28 "From One Fire to Another" 195

Part VI Wicked Truths

29 The Poisoner's Daughter 201

30 Sacrifices 209

31 "A Strange Agitation" 217

32 Lock and Key 226

Epilogue 231

Acknowledgments 239

Affair of the Poisons: A Chronology 243

Notes 247

Bibliography 277

Index 297

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City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Three and a half stars. Impressive research went into this account of the Affair of the Poisons during the reign of Louis XIV. The narrative is entertaining, as well as shocking and gruesome in spots. The descriptions of torture got a bit tedious though. I highly recommend reading the sample before purchase. I ended up borrowing it from the library.
bookbinderTX More than 1 year ago
Great Book. write more please.