Le Crime (Louis Morgon Series #1)

( 1 )

Overview

A cross between The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and A Year in Provence, this ingenious thriller gets stunning raves from one and all:

“Unforgettable . . . combines elements of Agatha Christie and Robert Ludlum.”
---Bookreporter.com

“A riveting murder mystery.”
---France Today

“Steiner sketches such a rich life for his tiny town that he makes you want to get on the next plane.”
---Chicago Tribune

“A beautiful...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$12.66
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$17.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (42) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $4.70   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Le Crime

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

A cross between The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and A Year in Provence, this ingenious thriller gets stunning raves from one and all:

“Unforgettable . . . combines elements of Agatha Christie and Robert Ludlum.”
---Bookreporter.com

“A riveting murder mystery.”
---France Today

“Steiner sketches such a rich life for his tiny town that he makes you want to get on the next plane.”
---Chicago Tribune

“A beautiful crime novel.”
---Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Nightlife

“A page-turner---like a good Alan Furst or Graham Greene novel.”
---The Washingtonian

“Louis Morgon is a marvel.”
---Olen Steinhauer, author of Victory Square

Le Crime est superbe.”
---Jim Fusilli, author of Hard, Hard City

Former State Department expert Louis Morgon finds a murdered body on the doorstep of his charming little house in France, and he and the local gendarme team up to solve the murder. Thriller and mystery lovers: Bon appetit!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A fantastic novel, at once a gripping political thriller, and a complex mystery tale.”
---David Brooks, author of Bobos in Paradise

“Le Carré and Deighton fans will welcome Steiner’s engaging first novel.”
---Publishers Weekly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312380663
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2008
  • Series: Louis Morgon Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 803,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.14 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Also known for his cartoons in The New Yorker, this is Peter Steiner’s first novel in the Louis Morgon thriller series; the second, L’Assassin, is forthcoming soon from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur. Le Crime was originally published in hardcover under the title A French Country Murder.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

EVERY MORNING, AS THE BELLS OF THE CHURCH IN SAINT LEON SUR Dême were clanging eight o’clock, Louis Morgon set the two pitchers, one of hot milk, the other of coffee, along with a cup and a knife, a baguette, the white and blue butter dish, and the little cracked marmalade pot on the battered metal tray and carried them all out to the terrace. If the day was cold, he put on a gray wool overcoat and wrapped an old plaid shawl around his neck. When it rained, he sat contentedly under the faded umbrella as it flapped and rattled in the wind and the rain dripped around him. When it was hot, he wore a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. From the little table between house and barn, he could gaze over the gravel driveway, across the descending garden at the field running up the opposite hill. What he saw changed with the weather and the seasons. But, however it changed, it always pleased him as though he were seeing it for the first time.

This year, as it happened, the fields were planted in sunflowers, which were in full bloom now, their massive heads sagging under the weight of their seed. And this particular Tuesday morning, the sun was brilliant. Its brilliance was refracted in the thousands of drops of dew that still clung to the grass, the hedge, the roses, the herbs and vegetables, the ivy and trumpet vine which climbed the stone barn. The sky was that particular blue which endures right down to the horizon, a color so intense and deep that you can feel the blackness of outer space behind it.

As Louis opened the door with his right hand, balancing the tray with his left, something fell lightly against his leg. He looked down to see that it was the arm of a dead man who lay across his doorstep, having been deposited there sometime during the night. Louis pulled his leg back, and the dead arm settled on the floor. Louis did not drop the tray. To an observer it might almost have appeared as though he had expected to find the dead man there.

Louis carried the tray back to the kitchen. Then, after steadying himself against the table for a moment, he returned to look at the body. It had belonged to a black man although by now the skin had taken on that peculiar gray pallor the dead share, no matter what race they may have been. The dead man wore blue jeans and running shoes without socks, and a polo shirt not tucked in. There was a red, green, and black embroidered skullcap sitting on the front of his head.

The man’s throat had been slit from ear to ear. But, aside from the blood crusted black along the edges of the wound, there was no blood anywhere else, not on the ground and not on the man’s clothes. The eyes were closed. The mouth was closed. The man seemed perfectly tranquil, but for the gaping smile which had been cut into his neck.

Louis was not entirely undone by the grim sight of this corpse, even though this was his first face-to-face encounter with violent death. Nor was he worried that the man’s murderer or murderers might still be lurking about, although he perhaps should have been. Louis walked to the top of the driveway and peered down the hill. He came back, crouched down, and studied the man. After some hesitation, he lifted the hands, first one then the other, more to feel the weight of the dead arms than anything else. He looked at the fingernails, although he did not know what he expected to see. The arms were hard and heavy. They no longer had the feeling of human flesh.

Louis examined the clothes. The dead man’s pants and shirt were clean and looked to be new. There was nothing in his pockets. The cap had the word Liberté embroidered on it.

Louis stood and looked at the dead man for a long time. Then he went inside, closed the door, and dialed the number of the police. When, a short time later, the police car came up the drive followed by the ambulance, Louis was seated at his outdoor table, his back to the corpse. He rose as though to greet invited visitors. The men shook hands all around. After a quick exchange of friendly words, Louis and Renard, who was the Saint Leon gendarme, went over to look at the dead man. Renard crouched down to look at the man. This was not Renard’s first corpse by any means, but it was his first murder—at least, as he said with a slight smile, as far as he knew. The ambulance men had edged up behind Louis and Renard and were peering at the body.

"He was killed elsewhere," said Renard to no one in particular and stood up. He gazed for a few moments at the body from this vantage and then turned his gaze on Louis. At just over forty-five, Renard was probably fifteen years younger than Louis. He stood half a head taller than the older man. Louis’s thin white hair riffled in the breeze. He felt the policeman looking at him. "Coffee?" he offered. Without waiting for an answer, he went inside to make a pot.

After Renard had finished with the dead man, he nodded to the ambulance men, and they lifted the corpse onto a stretcher. The skullcap fell off. One of the men picked it up and put it on the stretcher. They loaded the body into the ambulance and shut the door. Then they all stood in the bright sun and drank coffee. They drank in silence.

"A warning from ‘the sordid world’?" asked the gendarme finally. "The sordid world" was one of those phrases which old married couples and old friends have as a sort of code for ancient and familiar arguments. It reminds them why they like and dislike one another. Louis did not answer.

The ambulance men waited. The gendarme motioned with his head. They took a last sip of coffee and set their cups on the edge of the table. They shook hands with Louis, got in the ambulance, and backed down the driveway. They did not turn on the blue lights. The ambulance disappeared backward over the rim of the hill. Louis and the gendarme listened while the driver changed gears at the bottom of the drive and drove off toward town.

"We are so far from Washington. How did they find you? And why?" Louis did not answer. "He looks North African. There will probably be a big investigation. It will get political."

"It already is political," said Louis and turned his face into the wind. He appeared to regret having said even that.

Then the two men made small talk. Renard promised to let Louis know if he discovered anything about the dead man. But neither man expected that he would discover very much. They stood in silence for a while, listening to the wind shake the leaves of the linden trees, listening to the birds. Then they shook hands and Renard left.

Louis returned to the kitchen with the empty coffee cups. He refilled the coffeepot, picked up his breakfast tray, and carried it back outside to the table. He sat down facing the field of sunflowers. The butter had gotten soft. The marmalade was sweet and bitter as good marmalade is. He ate his breakfast with relish and sorrow. When Dominique Brisard came clattering up the drive on her moped, he had just finished eating. She came every Tuesday morning to clean his house.

"Bonjour, monsieur," she said. "It is a beautiful day." She smiled broadly and swept her arms about her. Her gesture took in the garden, the roses climbing the front of the house, the fields, the sky, the whole world.

"It is a beautiful day, Dominique," Louis responded, and she thought in that moment that Monsieur Morgon was surely the most contented man she had ever known.

Excerpted from Le Crime by Peter Steiner.

Copyright © 2003 by Peter Steiner.

Published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Fantastic mystery

    A fantastic read. This is a "literate" mystery and not int he mold of a Ludlum thriller. At once a mystery this is also a psychological portrait of the main character that can touch many people as well as a travelogue that will have you planning a trip to travel to rural France.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)