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

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Summary of:  Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris 

On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the city’s chief law enforcement officer–and one of history’s first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

Author:  Eric Jager

Review of:  Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris 

As much as I love reading non-fiction history, I admit that it is rare to find a book that is so riveting it reads like fiction. But Jager has written such a book. Paris in the early 1400s was a political mess. King Charles was certifiably crazy and unfit to rule most of the time, leaving a power vacuum that (of course) was constantly being fought over by other powerful nobles. When one of those nobles, Louis of Orleans, was murdered on the streets of Paris one dark night, all hell broke loose and the country very nearly fell into a devastating civil war.

Jager’s book is not only a fascinating recounting of this hot political mess, but also the story of Guillaume de Tigonville, the chief law enforcement officer of Paris at the time of the murder and the man who had to solve this crime. The techniques he used, discovered on a piece of parchment centuries after they were recorded, are absolutely fascinating and completely relevant today. Jager writes a taut narrative and never lets the story lag for a moment. This is not your typical non-fiction. If you enjoy the writing of Erik Larson, I highly recommend you read Eric Jager’s work. You won’t be disappointed.

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Rick Mac
Student and author of History. The study of History is the beginning of wisdom.

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