The story is set in France on the eve of the Revolution. Paris in 1786 seethes with fiscal crisis and social tensions. Anne Cartier hears distressing news. Her stepfather, the actor Antoine Dubois has mysteriously died in Paris. The official verdict: he killed his mistress, then himself.
Anne enlists the aid of Colonel Paul de Saint-Martin and his adjutant Georges Charpentier of the royal highway patrol. Their investigation goes nowhere. Then, a deaf, illiterate seamstress with a talent for puppetry leads Anne to the truth. Along the way, she confronts an amateur theatrical society of dissolute young noblemen; a tormented female botanist; a sadistic aesthete; a rich, well-connected financier; a professional assassin.
Unravelling the mystery tests Anne's nerve as well as her remarkable acrobatic skills. At a critical juncture in the investigation, she acts the part of an exotic queen in Indian costume at a reception. Priceless Indian jewelry disappears. Its owner, an aged count is murdered. And a venal police inspector threatens to derail Anne's project.
The story rises to a violent climax in a labyrinthine cave outside Paris where the city has begun to bury its dead.
| Mute Witness
| Black Gold
| Noble Blood
| Lethal Beauty
| Fatal Carnival
| Cruel Choices
| Historical Background
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