On Sale: November 1, 2008
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In the tradition of Caleb Carr's The Alienist and
Eric Larsen's The Devil in the White City comes a
gripping tale of murder and the art of crime solving,
atmospherically set during the 1889 Paris World's Fair.
It is 1889, and the entire world breathlessly anticipates
the Paris World's Fair and the opening of Monsieur Eiffel's
iconic tower. The Twelve Detectives—a society of the twelve
most famous, compelling, and dazzling detectives from around
the world—have been asked to discuss the secrets of their
trade as part of the fair's lineup of events. The Twelve
travel to Paris to convene as a single body for the first
time, but also, if some whispers are to be believed, to
debate the very philosophy that underlies their pursuit of
the world's most wanted criminals.
detective is conspicuously absent: the legendary founding
member of The Twelve, Renato Craig, will not attend. In his
place he sends his novice assistant, Sigmundo Salvatrio—son
of a shoemaker, a lifelong detective-arts devotee, and the
only remaining student of Craig's famed Academy for
Detectives in Buenos Aires. Salvatrio arrives in Paris,
carrying a secret message meant only for Craig's best friend
and cofounder of The Twelve, the brilliant, brooding, and
fiercely competitive Viktor Arzaky.
When a member
of The Twelve is discovered dead at the foot of the gleaming
Eiffel Tower, the first in what turns into a series of
grisly murders, Arzaky and Salvatrio find themselves in a
race against time around glorious fin de siècle Paris,
encountering all manner of secret societies, solving
philosophical puzzles, while also trying to save a
dangerously beautiful woman.
The pair soon realizes
that the stakes involved are unimaginably high; they must
not only catch the stalking murderer but also alter the fate
of their precious brotherhood.
Written in a
strikingly original voice, and poignantly evoking a world
about to lose its innocence forever, The Paris Enigma opens
a window onto crime solving's early days, when wit, common
sense, and intelligence were the only tools a detective
could rely on.
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