MLA Platinum Award Press Release

The Paris Enigma: Book summary and reviews of The Paris Enigma by Pablo De Santis

The Paris Enigma

A Novel

by Pablo De Santis

The Paris Enigma by Pablo De Santis X
The Paris Enigma by Pablo De Santis
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2008
    256 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

In the tradition of Caleb Carr's The Alienist and Eric Larsen's The Devil in the White City comes a gripping tale of murder and the art of crime solving, atmospherically set during the 1889 Paris World's Fair.

It is 1889, and the entire world breathlessly anticipates the Paris World's Fair and the opening of Monsieur Eiffel's iconic tower. The Twelve Detectives—a society of the twelve most famous, compelling, and dazzling detectives from around the world—have been asked to discuss the secrets of their trade as part of the fair's lineup of events. The Twelve travel to Paris to convene as a single body for the first time, but also, if some whispers are to be believed, to debate the very philosophy that underlies their pursuit of the world's most wanted criminals.

But one detective is conspicuously absent: the legendary founding member of The Twelve, Renato Craig, will not attend. In his place he sends his novice assistant, Sigmundo Salvatrio—son of a shoemaker, a lifelong detective-arts devotee, and the only remaining student of Craig's famed Academy for Detectives in Buenos Aires. Salvatrio arrives in Paris, carrying a secret message meant only for Craig's best friend and cofounder of The Twelve, the brilliant, brooding, and fiercely competitive Viktor Arzaky.

When a member of The Twelve is discovered dead at the foot of the gleaming Eiffel Tower, the first in what turns into a series of grisly murders, Arzaky and Salvatrio find themselves in a race against time around glorious fin de siècle Paris, encountering all manner of secret societies, solving philosophical puzzles, while also trying to save a dangerously beautiful woman.

The pair soon realizes that the stakes involved are unimaginably high; they must not only catch the stalking murderer but also alter the fate of their precious brotherhood.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. De Santis adroitly explores such issues as the difference between image and reality while providing intelligent and entertaining discussions of alternate approaches to detection." - Publishers Weekly.

"Faintly charming, like an elegant but impractical antique automobile." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Pablo De Santis

Pablo De Santis was born in Buenos Aires, studied literature at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and subsequently worked as a journalist and comic-strip creator, becoming editor-in-chief of one of Argentina's leading comic magazines. Most recently, De Santis won the inaugural Premio Planeta-Casa de AmÉrica de Narrativa prize for best Latin American novel for The Paris Enigma. De Santis has published many novels in Spanish but this appears to be the first of his novels available in English in the USA.

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