Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine

Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine


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After Joel Dicker, here is the latest literary sensation from Switzerland: brilliant twenty-five-year-old novelist Quentin Mouron with his first mystery novel, which garnered ecstatic reviews in the French-speaking world. This is the first time his work is available in English.

Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine is a darkly humorous literary and psychological mystery set in a Boston still suffering from the consequences of the financial crisis.

Written with the pace and controlled violence of the very best Tarantino film

When old Jimmy Henderson is found murdered in his Ford pick-up truck in a suburb of Boston, Sheriff Paul McCarthy takes charge of the investigation. Soon, Franck, a young private detective visiting from New York, also takes an interest in the case.

Breaking the conventions of the genre, the novel holds a satirical mirror to our society by entering the minds of two men right on the edge of sanity. Sheriff McCarthy, a church-going man, desperately trying to keep a boundary between the sordidness of his investigations and his private life. And Franck, a violent, decadent dandy, always rushing to the bathroom for another line of coke, revealing the darker workings of the case with a blood curdling laugh. When the two men finally meet the entire existence of the sheriff as a righteous family man – and probably as a police officer — will be turned on its head.

“Mouron is a revelation. He juggles characters with ease in a seamy world perfectly evoked, and all of it is done in a taut high-tempo style. “ HuffPost

“Three Drops follows the US tradition of the searing social novel, literary, troubling, to be read in one sitting. It leaves a bitter and vivid after-taste, like the morning after a sleepless night.” Le Temps

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781908524836
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press, Ltd
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Quentin Mouron is a poet and a novelist. He was born in Lausanne in 1989 and is Swiss and Canadian. In 2011 he won the prix Alpes-Jura for his novel Au point d’effusion des égouts . He has written three other highly acclaimed novels before Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine.

W. Donald Wilson is a translator from Canada. Among his many works are the translations of two novels by Prix Goncourt winner Jacques Chessex, A Jew Must Die and The Vampire of Ropraz, and the book With the Animals by Noëlle Revaz.

Read an Excerpt

Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine

By Quentin Mouron, W. Donald Wilson

Bitter Lemon Press

Copyright © 2015 Éditions de la Grande Ourse, Paris
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-908524-84-3


The black pickup is standing at the corner of Parker and Mount Auburn. Old Jimmy Henderson has left the engine running and is consuming the last of the slice of pepperoni pizza bought from the eatery on the corner. The cabin smells of frying oil, fresh blood, and stale tobacco smoke. The floor is strewn with food wrappers and empty drink cartons. A piece of deer carcass wrapped in plastic is lying on the passenger seat. A hunting gun – a Winchester 12 pump-action shotgun – leans against the dash. A deodorizer depicting the crucifixion hangs from the rearview mirror.

Mount Auburn Street is quiet. The grocery store has just closed and night has fallen. In his rearview mirror Jimmy can see the First Baptist Church, now converted into mid-range apartments that are much coveted by neighborhood families. He once knew such a family, the Wallaces. The husband is dead now. He was tinkering with an old Corvette in a friend's garage when a clumsy slip of his screwdriver sent fuel spurting from the tank. He was smoking at the time, so he set off a huge explosion. His widow still mourns for him. The urn containing his ashes sits on the kitchen table. "We eat together every evening, just the two of us," she says. The First Baptist Church was built in the early twentieth century. Enormous, squat, and square, it has neither the austere charm of some small Boston churches nor the stiff majesty of the Church of the Holy Cross. This is the perfect setting for modest dramas – perfect for this person's drinking problem, for that one's gambling addiction, for infidelities – and perfect for old Mrs. Wallace weeping in front of her urn. For old Jim, outside in the street, it's an entertaining picture. Seen from inside, at the table, through the widow's eyes, everything has a different consistency. She can hardly be expected to find it amusing.

Jimmy turns on his headlights. He is about to drive off when he notices the figure of a man walking toward Mount Auburn from the end of Parker Street. He isn't the sort you expect to come across in Watertown: he is too impeccably dressed. People do dress up around here, of course. The big downtown families give cocktail parties to which tuxedos are worn – this isn't the boondocks, after all. But there's always something affected, forced, and ostentatious about the big shots who are invited. The man approaching is elegant. His dark overcoat is sober and perfectly cut, as are his trousers. He is wearing gloves. His shoes are patent leather. He comes closer. Jimmy can make out his face. About thirty. Good-looking. Dark hair. Clear eyes. Regular features. He comes up to the truck and stops.

"Good evening," stammers Jimmy. The man gives a slight bow.


Excerpted from Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine by Quentin Mouron, W. Donald Wilson. Copyright © 2015 Éditions de la Grande Ourse, Paris. Excerpted by permission of Bitter Lemon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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