Everyone is guilty of something -
the only mystery is, to what degree?
Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for best crime novel of the year
“An intense historical crime thriller. The intricate plot, menacing atmosphere, and rich evocations of period Paris have undeniable power.” (Publishers Weekly)
Set in besieged Paris in 1870, Baudelaire’s Revenge presents a compellingly engaging view of Paris on the eve of the Franco-Prussian war. The poor are living in misery and the working classes are growing desperate but the intellectuals and aristocrats are avidly pursuing their debaucheries. An artistic killer is embellishing his obscene handiwork with verses of “Les Fleurs du Mal”. This bizarre case appeals to the dissolute sensibility of Commissioner Paul Lefèvre, whose own twin passions are poetry and women of 'sinister unpredictability and uncivilized morals.'
Published for the first time in English, this gritty, detail-rich historical mystery novel involves the reader in a subtle narrative web. Belgian author Bob Van Laerhoven weaves in some of this historical period's favourite supernatural elements - magic, exotic poisons, séances and ghosts - to create an eerie, fin-de-siècle atmosphere.