cover image The Song Peddler of the Pont Neuf

The Song Peddler of the Pont Neuf

Laura Lebow. Settecento, $17.95 trade paper (410p) ISBN 978-1-7324-9720-7

Lebow (The Figaro Murders) vividly evokes the turbulent atmosphere of Paris on the eve of the French Revolution in this well-researched series launch featuring confidential inquirer Paul Gastebois. Most of Paul’s work consists of keeping tabs on foreign diplomats for the police, a task that keeps him loitering in the shadows and tailing his subjects through every arrondissement of the city. One evening, he’s approached by a new client, who asks him to locate a missing friend, Gaspard Bricon, an elderly song peddler. Just before Bricon disappeared, the old man confided “that he had seen a ghost—a ghost from the past.” In his search for Bricon, Paul encounters fully rounded characters from all levels of society, each of whom provides fascinating insights into the social climate of the time. The action builds to a surprising and satisfying solution. Lebow clearly loves Paris, and in Paul she has created a bold, intelligent protagonist. History buffs and lovers of well-plotted mysteries will be pleased. (BookLife)