When the mutilated corpse of a beautiful dancer is found in a Montmartre sewer, a nervous public fears that Jack the Ripper has crossed the Channel—but Inspector Achille Lefebvre has his own theories.Amid the hustle and bustle of the Paris 1889 Universal Exposition, workers discover the mutilated corpse of a popular model and Moulin Rouge Can-Can dancer in a Montmartre sewer. Hysterical rumors swirl that Jack the Ripper has crossed the Channel, and Inspector Achille Lefebvre enters the Parisian underworld to track down the brutal killer. His suspects are the artist Toulouse-Lautrec; Jojo, an acrobat at the Circus Fernando, and Sir Henry Collingwood, a mysterious English gynecologist and amateur artist.
Pioneering the as-yet-untried system of fingerprint detection and using cutting edge forensics, including crime scene photography, anthropometry, pathology, and laboratory analysis, Achille attempts to separate the innocent from the guilty. But he must work quickly before the “Paris Ripper” strikes again.
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About the Author
Gary Inbinder is the author of The Devil in Montmartre and The Hanged Man and his fiction, articles, and essays have appeared in Bewildering Stories, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Absent Willow Review, Morpheus Tales, Litsnack, Touchstone Magazine, and other publications. He is a member of both the Historical Novel Society and the Bewildering Stories Editorial Review Board. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Devil in Montmartre: A Mystery in Fin de Siecle Paris based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
The Devil in Montmartre by Gary Inbinder My thanks to Iris Blasi and my other supporters at Pegasus Books for my hardcover review copy! Always glad to hear from Pegasus Books! Paris Universal Exposition, 1889. It is a time of festivity and celebration. Many artists have come to Paris. Among them are Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard, and a young American artist named Marcia Brownlow, with her companion and lover Betty Endicott, heiress to a railroad baron. Marcia is dying of consumption, and the women are trying to make her last days comfortable. Marcia is enjoying sketching and painting a new model, Moulin Rouge Can-Can dancer Virginie Ménard. Lautrec has been sketching at a hysterectomy operation performed by Doctor Péan, who is an artist himself in a small way. A British Doctor, Sir Henry Collingwood, a specialist in “female hysteria” meets and falls for Betty Endicott. Marcia Brownlow has an attack, and Dr, Collingwood arranges for her to go to a sanatorium in Colorado. Marcia reconnects with an old friend author Arthur Wolcott, who arranges for Marcia to return to England with him, instead. A woman’s torso is discovered in a Montmartre cesspool by Papa LeBœuf and his helper Jacques, night soil gathers. Sûreté Captain Paul Féraud puts Inspector Achill Lefebvre on the case. Inspector Lefebvre is considered a new type of Inspector. He is a graduate of the prestigious École Polytechnique, and a stickler for modern scientific methods. His colleagues refer to Achill as “The Professor.” Inspector Lefebvre consults with Alphonse Bertillon, whose system of identifying criminals based on a series of anatomical measurements predated fingerprints. Bertillon was leery of fingerprints, but Inspector Lefebvre is counting on them as evidence. The evidence is a tangled web. Somehow, Inspector Lefebvre must cut through all of the darkness until light shines upon a likely suspect. I do not believe the average reader will fail to be very surprised by the results! This is an excellent read! I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it! I give Gary Inbinder five glowing stars for a tale well told and a mystery well plotted! Quoth the Raven…
If you fancy a somewhat gruesome intrigue set in 1899 Paris, this book is for you. You will be reacquainted with a few familiar artists, among them Toulouse Lautrec. The Francophile will enjoy revisiting old haunts and perhaps discovering new ones.