Crimes of Paris

Tác giả: Dorothy Hoobler
Thể loại: Non-Fiction
Language: English
Giới thiệu

Turn-of-the-century Paris was the beating heart of a rapidly changing world. Painters, scientists, revolutionaries, poets--all were there. But so, too, were the shadows: Paris was a violent, criminal place, its sinister alleyways the haunts of Apache gangsters and its cafes the gathering places of murderous anarchists. In 1911, it fell victim to perhaps the greatest theft of all time--the taking of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. Immediately, Alphonse Bertillon, a detective world-renowned for pioneering crime-scene investigation techniques, was called upon to solve the crime. And quickly the Paris police had a suspect: a young Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso....

From Publishers Weekly

The 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa serves as the centerpiece for the Edgar Award–winning Hooblers' (In Darkness Death) unwieldy account of life and crime in belle époque Paris. But the Hooblers devote so much time to the history of detection, in both fiction and real life, that the prized painting's disappearance soon slips the reader's mind. The authors locate the French obsession with the painting's disappearance in a general fascination with crime, from the fictional thief Arsène Lupin, the hero of popular serials, to real 19th-century figures such as Vidocq, a former criminal turned investigator who inspired Poe—and Alphonse Bertillon, whose criminal identification system based on body measurements was a precursor to the science of biometrics. A lengthy look at the Parisian art scene is overly digressive, though Picasso and his pal Apollinaire's tenuous connection to the Mona Lisa theft provides one of the book's rare dramatic sections. When the painting is finally recovered in Florence in 1913, the reader is left as unsatisfied by the Hooblers' scattered history as by the Italian-born thief's dubious rationale for the theft. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Apr. 3)
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"[An] engrossing forensic history...[its] lively portraits...[and] anecdotes buzz with energy." (The Washington Post )

"... A thorough and at times disturbing view of turn-of-the-century Paris, and its crimes and passions...Francophiles and true-crime lovers will find the book a fascinating read...a fulfilling read for those of us who like to stalk the wild side from a cozy armchair, perhaps with a side of pâté." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune )

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