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The Man with the Lead Stomach by Jean-francois Parot

The Man with the Lead Stomach

Part of the Nicolas Le Floch Investigation Series
Historical Fiction   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Set in Paris in 1761, this is a fascinating, detailed and revealing look at French law in the reign of Louis XV and opens up the reasons for the coming revolution. The central character is a commissioner of police. As the bodies pile up the investigation uncovers plot and counterplot, gambling debts, prostitution, blackmail, revenge and more so you’ve got to keep your wits about you to follow it all, but follow it you must for it is well worth reading.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Man with the Lead Stomach by Jean-francois Parot

An unusual death during a society evening at the Opera reveals something sinister at the heart of the French court…

October 1761 finds the newly-promoted Commissioner Le Floch on duty at a Royal performance of Rameau’s latest work. Events take a dramatic turn and Nicolas is soon embarked on his second major investigation when the body of a prominent courtier’s son is found. The initial evidence points to suicide, but Le Floch’s instincts tell him he is dealing with murder of the most gruesome kind.


'It's a clever plot and Le Floch is sympathetic, but it's the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles.'
The Times

'Commisioner Nicholas le Floch investigates the murder of an influential aristocrat's son, treading lightly but inexorably towards the culprit. An interesting evocation of place and period'
Literary Review

'a terrific debut from a French author and diplomat. The novel is set in prerevolutionary Paris where a young detective, Nicolas Le Floch, has to investigate the disappearance of one of his superiors. Working without modern investigative techniques in a police force reliant on torture, Le Floch confronts the ethical dilemmas of the period in a novel that brilliantly evokes the casual brutality of life in 18th-century France.'JOAN SMITH, SUNDAY TIMES 'An engaging murder mystery that picks away at the delicate power balance between king, police and state.'JAMES URQUHART, FINANCIAL TIMES 'Succeeds brilliantly in its reconstruction of pre-revolutionary Paris, in splendid period detail, and in its philosophic asides ...'DOUGLAS KENNEDY, SUNDAY TIMES 'It's the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles'MARCEL BERLINS, SUNDAY TIMES 'Reads like a cross between a Maigret mystery and Les Liaisons Dangereuses ...'

'Very strong on conveying convincing detail of the period'EUROCRIME 'One's attention is constantly drawn either by the developments of the investigation, the evocation of ancient culinary curiosities, or just by life in 18th century Paris.'EMMA'S WORLD 'You could almost hear the crunch of the snow, the squelch of the mud and skulk in the shadows of dark and smoky candle-lit rooms.'CHASING BAWA'

About the Author

Jean-francois Parot

Jean-François Parot is a diplomat and historian. The Châtelet Apprentice was his first novel , and the first in a series of Nicholas Le Floch mysteries which have been published to much acclaim in France. The second in the series, The Man with the Lead Stomach, was published in April 2008. The third Nicholas Le Floch title The Phantom of the Rue Royale will be available from October 2009.

Photograph © Ulf Andersen Gamma

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2009


Jean-francois Parot

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Gallic Books


404 pages


Historical mysteries
Fiction in translation



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