The Saint-Florentin Murders, by Jean-François Parot


Esta entrada es bilingue, desplazarse por la pantalla para ver la versión en castellano

Translated from the French by Howard Curtis. Gallic Books, 2010. 416 pages. ISBN: 978-1-906040-24-6.

The Saint-Florentine Murders (original title: Le crime de l’hôtel Saint-Florentin) is the fifth book in the Nicholas Le Floch Mystery series. It has just been shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger Award this year. The book provides a short note, Background to The Saint-Florentin Murders, for those readers who, like me, arrive for the first time to this series.

Times are difficult for Nicolas Le Floch, a commissaire at the Châtelet under the direct authority of Monsieur de Sartine. Louis XV is dead. The new king Louis XVI has promoted Sartine to Minister of State for the Navy and Le Floch does not enjoy the confidence of his new boss, the current Lieutenant General of Police, Monsieur Lenoir.

The story opens when Le Floch services are required by the Duc de la Vrillière, Monsieur de Saint-Florentin and Minister of the King’s Household. One of his wife’s maids has been killed and his major-domo has been found wounded and unconscious with a knife besides him. Everything seems that, having killed the girl, he tried to punish himself by committing suicide. The enquiry will endanger Le Floch’s life while taking him to places as different as the Trianon and Bicêtre, in Versailles and Paris.

The story provides an accurate picture of the time in which the events took place, and it is very well documented. It may very well please those who, like me, enjoy history and historical novels. The crime investigation plays a secondary role and the culprit can be easily identified, but the interest will remain in finding out the evidence to incriminate him. Unfortunately, as pointed out by Norman at Crime Scraps, the book is about 100 pages too long and has far too many details that may distract the attention of the reader from what, otherwise, would have been an excellent historical novel.

Jean-François Parot is a diplomat and historian. The Châtelet Apprentice was his first novel and the first in a series of Nicolas Le Floch mysteries followed by The Man with the Lead Stomach, The Phantom of Rue Royale, and The Nicolas Le Floch Affair. Besides The Saint-Florentin Murders,there are four additional books in the series that have not been published in English yet.

The Saint-Florentin Murders has been reviewed by Karen at Euro Crime and Norman at Crime Scraps.

For additional information check at:

I’m counting this book for the seventh continent (history) leg on Dorte’s 2011 Global Reading Challenge.

Los Crímenes de Saint-Florentin de Jean-Francoise Parot

Los crímenes de Saint-Florentin (título original: Le crime de l’hôtel Saint-Florentin) es el quinto libro de la serie de misterio Nicolas Le Floch investiga. Acaba de estar nominada para el CWA Intertional Dagger Award de este año. El libro ofrece una breve nota, sobre los antecedentes de Los crímenes de Saint-Florentin, para aquellos lectores que, como yo, llegan por primera vez a esta serie.

Corren tiempos difíciles para Nicolas Le Floch, un comisario del Châtelet bajo la autoridad directa del señor de Sartine. Luis XV ha muerto. El nuevo rey Luis XVI ha promocionado a Sartine como Ministro de Estado para la Marina y Le Floch no tiene la confianza de su nuevo jefe, el actual Jefe General de la Policía, el señor Lenoir.

La historia comienza cuando los servicios de Le Floch son demandados por el duque de la Vrillière, señor de Saint-Florentin, ministro de la Casa Real. Una de las doncellas de su esposa ha sido asesinada y su mayordomo, herido e inconsciente, ha sido encontrado con un cuchillo a su lado. Todo parece indicar que, después de matar a la joven, trató de castigarse suicidándose. La investigación pondrá en peligro la vida de Le Floch, al tiempo que le llevará a visitar lugares tan diferentes como el Trianon y Bicêtre, en Versalles y en París.

La historia ofrece una imagen muy precisa de la época en la que los acontecimientos tuvieron lugar, y está muy bien documentada. Puede muy bien agradar a los que, como yo, disfrutan con la historia y con las novelas históricas. La investigación del crimen desempeña un papel secundario y el culpable puede ser identificado fácilmente, pero el interés se mantendrá en la búsqueda de la evidencia que lo incrimine. Por desgracia, como ha señalado Norman en Crime Scraps, el libro tiene unas 100 páginas de más así como demasiados detalles que pueden distraer la atención del lector de la que, de lo contrario, húbiera sido una excelente novela histórica.

Jean-François Parot es un diplomático e historiador. Sus tres primera novelas de la serie Niolás Le Floch, comisario en el Chatelet están disponibles en España, El enigma de la calle Blancs-Manteaux, El hombre del vientre de plomo y El fantasma de la calle Royale, publicadas por EDHASA.

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8 thoughts on “The Saint-Florentin Murders, by Jean-François Parot

  1. José Ignacio – Thank you, as always, for a fine review. I do enjoy historical mysteries, so I was very interested to see what you thought of this one. But you’re quite right that too many details can weigh a novel down. Still, the premise is interesting…

  2. I’m interested in you commenting on the feeling of authenticity this book has Jose Ignacio. Maybe I will add to my “historical” reading

  3. Thanks for this review, Jose Ignacio. This is the only one on the Int Dagger shortlist I haven’t read yet, though I have an e-version of the first in the series on my Kindle to read. Sounds a bit daunting from what you and Norman write. Maybe…….only a few weeks to go now before the winner is announced so I’d better get on with it, if so.

  4. Maxine I won’t be reading all the books in the shortlist on time. Although I’m still planning to read River of Shadows., it will only be available at 6,71 euros in 66 days. Today’s price to Spain (free delivery is 11,90 for the paperback and 18,10 for the hardback. I can wait.

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