This novel took me a very long time to read, but this was only because it is the first French language novel I have read in many years and I kept on stopping to use the dictionary! The first in a series about a young man investigating murders in Paris in 1761, the mystery is engaging. However, what makes this novel special is the historical setting. Jean-Francois Parot is clearly very familiar with 18th Century Paris and its police and judiciary system. His descriptions of places such as the Chatelet and its environs and the introduction of real-life characters such Royal executioner Charles Henri Sanson bring the period to life. I look forward to reading more novels in the series.