Paris, November 1891: The body of a barefoot young woman dressed in red is discovered on Boulevard Montmartre. She has been strangled and her face horribly disfigured. That same day a single red shoe is delivered to Victor Legris’s Parisian bookshop by a goatherd. Suspecting more than just coincidence, the charming bookseller sleuth and his assistant Jojo are soon searching for the identity of both victim and murderer. Then, a body is discovered in a wine barrel at the same time as a famous performer from the legendary Moulin Rouge is strangled in her apartment. Victor’s investigation takes him and Jojo into the dark alleyways and bustling cafes of the hills of Montmartre, on a trail of evidence that seems to point to a case that shocked the population of Lyons years ago.
Saint-Mandé, Sunday 26 July 1891
Quick! She had to rinse her hands and remove the traces of jam.
Mademoiselle Bontemps hastily dried her hands and cast a longing look at the plate piled with strawberry biscuits, mocha cakes, éclairs and meringues. Resisting temptation, she shut the plate away in the bottom of the cupboard. ‘I’ll have them this evening when everyone’s gone to bed…’ She smoothed her dress over the crinoline she persisted in wearing as if she were still only twenty, and rustled back