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SusannaG

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Trio for Blunt Instruments
Rex Stout
Progress: 20 %
A Rare Benedictine: The Advent of Brother Cadfael
Ellis Peters
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %

Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris, by Eric Jager

Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris - Eric Jager

It is France, and it is November, 1407. Charles VI is king, and unfortunately for himself, and particularly for his country, he is intermittently insane.  (He will suffer over 50 bouts of madness in his 42 years on the French throne.)

 

As a result, his brother, Louis, duke of Orleans, serves as his regent when he is not sane.  (Charles has sons, but even the oldest of them, his heir the dauphin, is still a child.)  Louis lords it in style: he charges the state for whatever he likes, he taxes the people harshly, he seduces the wives of the aristocracy (and keeps a portrait gallery of them, in scanty attire - which he shows off to their husbands), he quarrels with the other royal dukes (Berry, Bourbon, Burgundy).

 

In 1407, someone is angered enough by his behavior to have Louis murdered in the streets of Paris.  Was it a cuckolded husband?  A political rival?  His outraged wife, a Visconti, or her father, the Duke of Milan?  The perfidious Henry IV of England?  Worst possibility of all, was it his own brother, the insane king?

 

The provost of Paris must find out, and find out soon.  And a civil war might still break out, whatever he finds.

 

I enjoyed this thoroughly.  Recommended for those who like medieval history, French history, or true crime.  (I was fascinated at how "modern" the provost's investigation methods were; he had torture available to him as a tool, and didn't use it.  Just a thorough examination of the crime scene, questioning of as many witnesses as he could find, and the use of his wits and common sense.)