The Cavalier of the Apocalypse

Rated 4.50/5 based on 4 reviews
In seething 1786 Paris, penniless writer Aristide Ravel, already suspected of subversion, must clear his name of murder. But his search for answers—with the aid of friends who may not be all that they seem—leads him into a tangle of conspiracy, secret societies, royal scandal, and imminent revolution, which grows only more complex when the corpse disappears. "Superb." (Publishers Weekly) More
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About Susanne Alleyn

Susanne Alleyn has loved history all her life, aided and abetted by her grandmother, Lillie V. Albrecht, an author of historical children's books in the 1950s and 60s. Happy to describe herself as an insufferable knowitall about historical trivia (although she lost on Jeopardy!), Susanne has been writing and researching historical fiction for nearly three decades. She is the author of A Far Better Rest, the reimagining of A Tale of Two Cities (Soho Press, 2000); the four Aristide Ravel Mysteries (St. Martin's Press); and The Executioner's Heir: A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France.

Nonfiction includes Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (& Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths (2012); A Tale of Two Cities: A Reader's Companion (2014); and The Weirder Side of Paris (2017).

Learn more about Susanne Alleyn
About the Series: Aristide Ravel Mysteries
Historical mysteries featuring Aristide Ravel, agent for the police in 1780s and 1790s Paris, before and during the French Revolution: The Cavalier of the Apocalypse (1786); Palace of Justice (1793); Game of Patience (1796); A Treasury of Regrets (1797)

Also in Series: Aristide Ravel Mysteries

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Audrey Driscoll reviewed on June 2, 2019

I almost abandoned this book after reading the first few pages because the smells and other repulsive details of a poor area of 18th century Paris were rendered altogether too well. Fortunately, I gave it a second chance and was treated to an interesting murder mystery with engaging characters and a colourful (in all senses of the word) setting. The author clearly knows a lot about the French Revolution and what led up to it, and effectively incorporates historical material into this work of fiction. She does this most often in dialogue, and only occasionally do her characters slip into a semi-lecturing mode for the reader's benefit. Still, with the Diamond Necklace Affair, Freemasonry, and the reader's knowledge of what will be happening in a few years, this book is both entertaining and informative.
(review of free book)
JaneofArch reviewed on July 6, 2017

Excellent historical setting (though I'm not perfectly familiar with the period) and smooth writing. Complex plot has a young poverty-stricken writer of anti-aristocratic propaganda pressured into attempting to solve a bizarre crime, not too long before the beginning of the French Revolution.

This should be shiver-inducing but the writing is too low-key and unemotional, and the relationships between the classes surprisingly relaxed. Needs to have some poor widows and orphans ground down by the Aristos, or at least run over by gilded carriages.

Held my interest, though, partly because of Aristede's broken heart.
(review of free book)
Francoise Pique reviewed on Oct. 31, 2016

A very good plot set in the Paris of 1786, amidst the prerevolutionary discontent with ancient privileges of church and nobility in a world that has changed and cannot abide them anymore. But even if the reader isn't much interested in French history, he or she will find a good story with an unexpected end, and the atmosphere of old Paris with its mud, its darkness, its fashionable cafes and tailors, its very poor and its very rich.
(review of free book)
manicmini reviewed on Sep. 27, 2016

Not a typical whodunit, not my typical read but yes! I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and characters of this pre-revolution French drama. I am sure to include further Aristied Ravel mysteries in my 'A' list
(review of free book)

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