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“Christmas in Paris, 1686. The spirit of the season is shattered when Martine Mynette is murdered while trying to prove that she is the adopted daughter of the last surviving Mynette heir and thus claim her inheritance-money that the family otherwise intended to go to the Jesuit school, Louis le Grand.
Now, with Jesuits being implicated in Martine’s death, rhetoric teacher Charles du Luc will not rest until he finds her murderer…”
[dun Dun DUNNNNN]
So, to start off, I had no idea this was technically the second book in a series that included the main character, Charles Du Lac. However, apparently each book can be a stand-alone story, so that’s why I went through the entire book not really realizing that it was connected to any other books, except possibly the character himself and the place he is staying at. The book doesn’t say anything about it being in a series, just advertises that the author wrote the fist book, which is a pretty super-vague clue.
Also, this was technically my first ‘adult’ murder mystery novel, that I thought was pretty interesting. I found this book at one of my many ‘Thrift Store Book’ finds in which I will walk out of said thrift stores with large stacks of books for under $10. So, being that this was a new try for me, I was pretty excited.
Off the bat, the book was the total opposite of what I was expecting it to be. In a good way, though. I guess my brain automatically likes to pair ‘murder mystery’ with either Scooby Doo or Nancy Drew [quick, someone make a murder mystery rap using that rhyme if it doesn’t exist already] and I wasn’t expecting a more down-to-earth, lack of paranormal-themed kind of story.
So the main character, Charles Du Lac, is a Jesuit in late 1600’s France. Handsome, young-ish [for the times], and an ex-soldier, he wants to know the light of god after what he had seen in the Hells of war, but also struggles with listening to authority. Like the summary states, a great sum of money was to go to the college/church he is a scholar at, but turns out that money rightfully belongs to someone, and when it’s found out there’s a conflict of interest there, the girl who was supposed to have that money is found dead. Was it the Jesuits being greedy? Was it one of her enemies that wanted her money? Was it one of the many insane beggars that sometimes got a little too aggressive when someone didn’t help them out? That’s what the story explains.
A word of caution for this book is: You might want to have a teeny tiny interest in religion in some manner or method, and also a French dictionary handy somewhere. [To the internet!]
Sure, the thought of a religion-based murder mystery seemed pretty cool, and it was for the most part, if it didn’t have as many long stretches of religious nonsense you had to read through. The the author seems to find the need to make sure you understand particular religious shenanigans going on [which I do appreciate, somewhat] but also, throwing in a lot of French phrases and names/titles that are never translated, nor are you given a key/guide on what these things mean. More than once I found the need to stop and look up various words in French to make some of the scenes better to understand.
The Author, however, did a fantastic job setting up a historic time and event, and interesting characters. You can tell she did a tremendous amount of research into the times and areas. More than once just as I was getting bored of the book, something was brought up to reel me back in because of it’s historical accuracy, and also how fucked up it was. [IE: It was still okay to burn homosexuals alive in those times… and there is a ‘sodomite’ – which is what they were called in those times – character who is under threat of that very death in the book]
Certainly I was enthralled in some parts, and more and more curious in the WHODONEIT aspect of the book, but geez there were some boring parts. Boring enough that I did find myself struggling getting through the book at. Did I expect the twists and turns about the murders? Not really, no. So that was nice.
Also, as the story went on, I thought the title ‘Eloquence of Blood‘ was clever. At first I thought it was a play on the murder being complex, but it’s actually also a reference to the ‘blood is thicker than water’ view. It has a lot to do with family bonds/ties and how they conflict with family that isn’t blood, even if you love them more.
Also, France has [or at least did] a lot of Saint Holidays. I mean, like every other day. That’s too many holidays that you can’t be a lazy bum on.
Another also: This book’s pages felt awesome. I don’t know what it was about them, but they felt really nice. A ‘page stroker’ if you will. [Is that kinky? <_<]
Would I read the former book, The Rhetoric of Death, or the other Charles Du Lac books? Ehhhhhhh. Maybe. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get them, but if I were to find the other books in a thrift store, I’d probably get them. I’d happily accept them as gifts as well.
Overall, it was enjoyable. Pretty good read for a cheap thrift store find. I’d recommend it to you murder mystery peeps out there.
I give The Eloquence of Blood 3/5 WHO DUN ITS
Charles was suddenly reluctant to have her go. “The beggars seem to look to you as a mother.”
She gave him a pleased glance, slipped into the lane, and walked briskly toward the small street that ran from the rue St. Jacques past the old college of the Les Cholets. As Charles replaced the bar, making sure it was strongly set, her voice floated back to him.
“Even God needed a mother, mon cher.”