City of Light, City of Poison : Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
by Tucker, Holly







Author's Notexv
A Note on Currencyxvii
Burn Noticexix
PART I "Day and Night They Kill Here"
1 Crime Capital of the World
3(12)
2 City of Light
15(11)
3 The Street at the End of the World
26(9)
4 To Market
35(8)
PART II King of Hearts
5 Agitation without Disorder
43(7)
6 The Dew and the Torrent
50(5)
7 The Door Marked 1
55(6)
8 "He Will ... Strangle Me"
61(8)
PART III "She Will Turn Us All into Poisoners"
9 The Golden Viper
69(4)
10 "Madame Is Dying, Madame Is Dead!"
73(4)
11 Poison in the Pie
77(3)
12 An Alchemist's Last Words
80(4)
13 The Faithful Servant
84(6)
14 "Brinvilliers Is in the Air"
90(13)
PART IV "Cease Your Scandals"
15 House of Porcelain
103(8)
16 Offering
111(3)
17 "The Sneakiest and Meanest Woman in the World"
114(7)
18 "Burn after Reading"
121(5)
19 Dinner Guests
126(8)
20 The Question
134(8)
21 Monsters
142(9)
PART V "She Gave Her Soul Gently to the Devil"
22 Quanto
151(7)
23 Search and Seizure
158(6)
24 A Noble Pair
164(6)
25 The Burning Chamber
170(7)
26 "Beginning to Talk"
177(8)
27 Fortune-Teller
185(10)
28 "From One Fire to Another"
195(6)
PART VI Wicked Truths
29 The Poisoner's Daughter
201(8)
30 Sacrifices
209(8)
31 "A Strange Agitation"
217(9)
32 Lock and Key
226(5)
Epilogue231(8)
Acknowledgments239(4)
Affair of the Poisons: A Chronology243(4)
Notes247(30)
Bibliography277(20)
Index297


Draws on transcripts, letters and diaries to chronicle how an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s led to Nicolas de La Reynie's appointment as Paris's first police chief, the installation of lanterns that turned Paris into the City of Light and the investigations in the criminal underground that implicated Louis XIV's mistress.





A university professor and expert on biomedical ethics, Tucker (Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, 2011) has unearthed and brought to life a treasure trove of court documents and notes from Paris' first police chief, Nicolas de la Reynie, showing how poison was a longstanding weapon of choice to end political and sexual rivalries in the court of Louis XIV. Although Louis XIV himself fed the incriminating documents into a fire at Versailles immediately after the police chief's death, de la Reynie had made his own notes about "The Affair of the Poisons," which Tucker combed through. This history partially focuses on how de la Reynie, who served as police chief from 1667 until his death in 1709, worked to rid Paris of its appalling filth and crime. It also provides stunning insights into the real filth of Louis XIV's reign, gilded, as in the Sun King's creation of Versailles, but rotten with duplicity and murder. Completely absorbing, especially because of the wealth of everyday life detail Tucker provides. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.






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