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The Song Peddler of the Pont Neuf

by Laura Lebow

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"PARIS, 1788 Facing bankruptcy after years of expensive wars, King Louis XVI calls a meeting of the Estates General, the ancient French legislature which has not met in 174 years. The city hums with talk about modernizing the assembly and changing France into a constitutional monarchy. Paul Gastebois, a confidential inquirer, isn't interested in politics. He's busy with the daily tedium of detective work--following foreign diplomats for the Parisian police and helping artisanal guilds enforce their rules. He'd like to make a name for himself solving crimes, but few cases have come his way. Then Paul is hired to find a song peddler who sang bawdy songs to crowds on the Pont Neuf. The missing man had seen someone from his past on the bridge, and had vanished a few weeks later. As Paul searches Paris for the song peddler, his investigation leads him into the world of underground publishing, where anonymous writers attack King Louis and his queen, Marie-Antoinette, and foreign governments manipulate public opinion for their own purposes. When a ruthless killer strikes, Paul must unravel the mystery of the song peddler's disappearance, or risk losing everything he holds most dear."--Provided by publisher.… (more)
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"PARIS, 1788 Facing bankruptcy after years of expensive wars, King Louis XVI calls a meeting of the Estates General, the ancient French legislature which has not met in 174 years. The city hums with talk about modernizing the assembly and changing France into a constitutional monarchy. Paul Gastebois, a confidential inquirer, isn't interested in politics. He's busy with the daily tedium of detective work--following foreign diplomats for the Parisian police and helping artisanal guilds enforce their rules. He'd like to make a name for himself solving crimes, but few cases have come his way. Then Paul is hired to find a song peddler who sang bawdy songs to crowds on the Pont Neuf. The missing man had seen someone from his past on the bridge, and had vanished a few weeks later. As Paul searches Paris for the song peddler, his investigation leads him into the world of underground publishing, where anonymous writers attack King Louis and his queen, Marie-Antoinette, and foreign governments manipulate public opinion for their own purposes. When a ruthless killer strikes, Paul must unravel the mystery of the song peddler's disappearance, or risk losing everything he holds most dear."--Provided by publisher.

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