Louis Bayard biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Louis Bayard

Louis Bayard

Louis Bayard Biography

Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable Book author and has been shortlisted for both the Edgar and Dagger awards for his historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. His most recent novel was the critically acclaimed young-adult title Lucky Strikes. He lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches at George Washington University.

Louis Bayard's website

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Interview

An essay by Louis Bayard about The Black Tower, an historical mystery set in early 19th century Paris which brings to life the mighty and profane Eugène François Vidocq, history’s first great detective.

The Good Guesser
An essay by Louis Bayard about The Black Tower, an historical mystery set in the early 19th century

Five years ago, I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't know who Eugène François Vidocq was. It took Edgar Allan Poe to bring us together.

In the course of researching The Pale Blue Eye, I reread Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," which is widely regarded as the world's first detective story. But is it? Turns out that Poe's great sleuth, Dupin, in the course of describing his methodology, makes a glancing—and slighting— reference to a gentleman named Vidocq, whom he immediately dismisses as "a good guesser" lacking "educated thought" and constantly erring "by the very intensity of his investigations."

Two things struck me right off. First, Dupin considered it important to get a leg up on his predecessor (much as Sherlock Holmes would feel compelled to do with Dupin). And second, this particular predecessor needed no introduction to the general reader.

In fact, by 1841, when Poe's story was published, Vidocq was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic, a figure who could be cited by Dickens and Melville without ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Louis Bayard at BookBrowse
Courting Mr. Lincoln jacket The School of Night jacket The Black Tower jacket The Pale Blue Eye jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Louis Bayard but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Boris Akunin

    Boris Akunin

    Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the Republic of Georgia in 1956. A philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, Akunin published his first detective stories in 1998 and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Black Tower

    Try:
    The Winter Queen
    by Boris Akunin

  • Peter Carey

    Peter Carey

    Peter Carey was born in 1943, in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia. His parents, who had a General Motors dealership, sent him to Geelong Grammar School, one of the leading private schools, "where the children of Australia's... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Black Tower

    Try:
    Parrot and Olivier in America
    by Peter Carey

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