"Murder... at the palace..."
Paris, June 1787. At the court of Versailles, one of Marie Antoinette's favorite ladies-in-waiting, the Duchesse de Saumur, has been found murdered. The duchess's deaf maid, Denise de Villers, is accused. Anne Cartier, teacher at the Institute for the Deaf in Paris, is soon drawn into the murder investigation together with her husband Paul de Saint-Martin, to prove the maid's innocence. The investigation stalls. The queen demands the case be resolved quickly. The palace provost insists on the deaf maid's guilt and convicts her. For weeks she languishes in prison awaiting a rapidly approaching horrific public execution. Anne nearly despairs of saving her. Then, from the pen of the dead duchess herself comes a story of past crime in high places. Anne and her friends set about unraveling a devilishly clever scheme of retribution...
About the Mystery
Noble Blood (2004) is the third in a series of historical mysteries, set in England and France on the eve of the French Revolution. Anne Cartier, a vaudeville actress who left the stage to tutor deaf children, gets involved with murderous company. In her pursuit of truth and justice, Anne is joined by her husband Colonel Paul de Saint-Martin of the French Royal Highway Patrol and his adjutant Georges Charpentier. From time to time these fictional characters meet historical persons, such as Baron Breteuil, Abbe de l'Epee, and the queen's friend, the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen.
"Credible and memorable characters, an exciting time in French history and a puzzle that will challenge even the most astute mystery aficionado add up to first-class entertainment... A book sure to have wide appeal."
Publishers Weekly, October 11, 2004 [A Starred Review]
"Complications include a hidden staircase, stolen jewellery, a not-so-secret lover, a vindictive old man, and various court intrigues. The third title (after Mute Witness) in O'Briens series about 18th-century France, this will appeal to fans of historicals with its atmosphere, characters, and detailed narrative."
Library Journal, October 1, 2004
Severn House Publishers, Ltd.
US$28.95 - Can$36.95 - UK£18.99