cover image The Bookseller: 
The First Hugo Marston Novel

The Bookseller: The First Hugo Marston Novel

Mark Pryor. Prometheus/Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-61614-708-2

Austin, Tex., ADA Pryor introduces, in his amiable first mystery, a former FBI profiler, and transplanted Texan, Hugo Marston. Wandering the City of Light on vacation from his official position as the U.S. embassy’s security chief, Hugo sees a gun-toting thug kidnap elderly book dealer Max Koche straight from Max’s Seine-side bookstall. When the police are slow to act, Hugo undertakes his own investigation, discovering a pattern of similar crimes against Max’s community of booksellers, the bouquinistes, possibly linked to feuding drug gangs. Hugo’s developing romance with journalist Claudia de Roussillon, his first since an unpleasant divorce, provides relief from the stress of the case, until a connection appears between Claudia’s aristocratic father and Max’s surprising past as a Nazi hunter. Pryor minimizes any of the true crime grittiness readers of his true crime blog,, might have expected, instead sketching a somewhat touristy but nonetheless convincing France and a refreshingly unconflicted, likable hero. Agent: Rees Literary Agency. (Oct.)