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

In City of Light, City of Poison, Holly Tucker (Blood Work) emphasizes that in the late 17th century, Paris was not an elegant and refined place to live. Violence and danger were found in its overcrowded streets and alleyways, where brass knuckles, knives and pistols were frequently used during brawls that broke out in public areas. So when one official lieutenant was murdered, and another civil magistrate found dead under suspicious circumstances, King Louis XIV went into action, appointing Nicolas de La Reynie as the first police chief and giving him the task of bringing order to the chaos.

Between April 1679 and July 1682, more than 400 people were questioned, 200 imprisoned and 30 executed by beheading, hanging or incineration for events known as the Affair of the Poisons. Tucker shares her four years of meticulous research through hundreds of handwritten documents to expose the truth about one of the more gruesome episodes in French history. Filled with the stories of the men and women involved in murder, attempted murder, Satanic rites and many infidelities among Paris nobility--including the king and his multiple mistresses--Tucker's exposition is a true detective story of the finest kind.

Interrogation scenes feature grisly details, but their intensity is offset by titillating details of Louis XIV's repeated romps with many a younger woman, and of La Reynie's relentless pursuit of the truth. For anyone interested in the darker side of the Sun King's reign, City of Light, City of Poison will not disappoint. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit