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The Bones of Paris

Cover of The Bones of Paris

The Bones of Paris

A Stuyvesant & Grey Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SACRAMENTO BEE

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age--and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.

Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator's dream--he's getting paid to prowl the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.

As Stuyvesant follows Philippa's trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous--and infamous--inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company's Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.

Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Laurie R. King's Dreaming Spies.

Praise for The Bones of Paris

"Haunting . . . a portrait of the City of Light that glows with the fires of Hell."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"A compelling thriller . . . complex, more than a little kinky, and absolutely fascinating."--Booklist (starred review)

"Highly entertaining . . . Laurie R. King perfectly captures [the Jazz Age] as she explores the City of Light's avenues and alleys."--The Denver Post

"Engrossing . . . Readers who enjoy Laurie R. King's noteworthy Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery series are in for a surprise."--BookPage

"A chilling mystery and a haunting love letter to the Paris of Hemingway's Lost Generation."--Library Journal
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SACRAMENTO BEE

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age--and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.

Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator's dream--he's getting paid to prowl the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.

As Stuyvesant follows Philippa's trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous--and infamous--inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company's Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.

Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Laurie R. King's Dreaming Spies.

Praise for The Bones of Paris

"Haunting . . . a portrait of the City of Light that glows with the fires of Hell."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"A compelling thriller . . . complex, more than a little kinky, and absolutely fascinating."--Booklist (starred review)

"Highly entertaining . . . Laurie R. King perfectly captures [the Jazz Age] as she explores the City of Light's avenues and alleys."--The Denver Post

"Engrossing . . . Readers who enjoy Laurie R. King's noteworthy Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery series are in for a surprise."--BookPage

"A chilling mystery and a haunting love letter to the Paris of Hemingway's Lost Generation."--Library Journal
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The morning exploded.

    The room's east windows flared with a hot torment that seared across Harris Stuyve­sant's brain, stabbing through his eyes, splintering his thoughts, turning his mouth to old shoe leather: cracked, greasy, foul.

    A long way off, miles and miles away, his hand crept across the sticky sheets to the bed-side table, directed by one squinting eye towards the leather straps that stuck in the air like the legs of some dead thing. The hand fumbled, lifted, fumbled again to reverse the watch-face.

    Jesus: not yet ten, and already a furnace.

    Stuyve­sant managed to get his feet to the carpet, waiting out the secondary explosion inside his skull before he rose to stumble a path through discarded clothing to the corner basin. The water was disgustingly warm, but he drank a glass anyway, then bent to let the tap splash over his face and hair. He wrestled with the aspirin bottle for an hour or so, palmed three pills and washed them down with a second glass, then reached out to part the curtains a fraction.

    A dizzying panorama of rooftops: tiles and tin, brick and timber, steeples and drying laundry; centuries of chimneypots, with a narrow slice of stone magnificence in the distance. Children's voices and taxi horns competed with a tram rattle from the rue de Rennes and a neighbor's accordion, mournfully wading through a lively tune. His nose filled with the pervasive stink of an unemptied septic tank.

    Summer in Paris.

    He went back to his seat on the side of the bed, picking up his cigarette case and lighter.

    The tap of the Ronson touching wood set off a convulsion in the bed. A hand emerged from the sheets, then a tangled head of brassy blonde hair, followed by blue eyes blinking in outrage.

    "Ferme les rideaux putain!"

    He wasn't sure if she was calling him a whore, or the curtains, and he didn't think he would be able to shape the question without coffee. Even the French swill that was mostly chicory.

    "Doesn't help any to shut them, honey. They're like tissue paper."

    "Eh?"

    "Nothing," he told her. "I have to go to work."

    She understood that, and yanked the covers back over her matted hair. Stuyve­sant swiveled around on the bed to rip them off her. "Really," he said. "It's time to rise and shine."

    But instead of complaining, or assaulting him with curses, she gave a sinuous writhe to curl against his leg, looking up at him as coquettishly as a person could when her mascara was smeared like something from a German horror film.

    "You take me for breakfast, 'Arris?" One soft breast pressed into his knee, two firm fingers walked a path up the inside of his bent thigh.

    He smashed the cigarette out against the ash-tray, then bent over the smeared horror-eyes. "I try never to disappoint a lady," he told her.

    Be nice if he could remember this one's name.

    Two

    A conversation:

    "You knew that Crosby girl, didn't you?"

    "Crosby? I don't believe I . . ."

    "Peggy? Patricia? There was something about photographs and a scar--this was some time ago."

    "Ah, yes: Philippa. What about her?"

    "Is she still around?"

    "I haven't seen her in months. Why?"

    "There was an American asking about her, last night. He claims he was hired by her parents, though he looked a real brute to me. I thought if you were still in touch, you might let her know."

    "As I say, it's been months. Did you talk to the fellow?"

    "No, but he's around the Quarter if you want him. That girl, Lulu? The one with the light fingers? He's spending time with her."

    "Sounds a suitable match."

    "Better than the Crosby...

About the Author-
  • Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen Mary Russell mysteries, five contemporary novels featuring Kate Martinelli, and the acclaimed novels A Darker Place, Folly, Keeping Watch, and Touchstone. She lives in Northern California.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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