Richard Grindal - The Murders at Impasse Louvain - Orion Publishing Group

The Murders at Impasse Louvain

By Richard Grindal

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'Exquisite, smartly paced whodunit set in turn-of-the-century Paris' Publishers Weekly

A fashionable French painter is found strangled, a crime highly embarrassing for the Establishment as his wife, a lady of dubious morals, was in the news a year earlier when the President of France happened to die in her bed. And the last thing the authorities want is to revive the whole outrage.

But Inspector Gautier is not a man to deflect the course of justice. Defying his chief, he uncovers some shocking scandals, one of them concerning no less than the Russian Ambassador, and his investigations culminate in an extravagant finale in Maxim's in its Belle Epoque heyday.

Biographical Notes

Richard Grindal was born in New Delhi in 1920, where his father was working for the Indian Civil Service. He was educated at King's, Canterbury and won a scholarship to read modern history at Corpus Christi, Cambridge. During the war he joined the RAF. During the 1960s Richard worked for the Iron & Steel Federation. He was based in London, where he married and where his three children were born. His spiritual home, however, was Scotland; for over 20 years he travelled the world representing the Scotch Whisky industry and wrote a number of books about whisky. Writing and golf were his two great passions. He had 25 crime fiction titles published, some of which under his pen name of Richard Grayson.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781471918162
  • Publication date: 14 Dec 2015
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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Murder Red-Handed

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Spy in Camera

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Play the Roman Fool and Die

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A Taste of Death

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Death Stalk

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The small Hebridean island of Alsaig is facing a crisis. It is famous for its only export, a particularly fine malt whisky, upon which most of the islanders depend for their livelihood. But the distillery is threatened with a takeover by an American firm, which would not only make many of the workforce redundant but also adulterate the product.But owner Alisdair Matheson is refusing to sell, despite threats of sabotage and an attempt on his life. The situation is complicated further by an actual murder on the island, which the locals believe to have been committed by American Mike MacDonald. Tension mounts as storms lash the island, isolating it from the outside world and locking the killer in with the islanders.

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The Whisky Murders

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A skilfully planned murder in Portugal; a clever con-game in Texas; a body washed up on the Galloway coast. What have these far-flung events in common? In a word: whisky. And not any kind of whisky, but a fine malt.Bruce Sanderson is on a ten-day holiday in the Highlands when he encounters Iain MacNair, who begins to teach him the mysteries of blending noble malts. He soon embarks on a relationship with MacNair's daughter Katriona but, shortly after, Macnair is murdered. Bruce begins to investigate the murder and soon finds that both he and Katriona are in the sights of a dangerous killer who will go to any lengths to protect an ingenious fraud.

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Over the Sea to Die

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When both his holiday plans and love affair collapse, London doctor Charles Mackinnon agrees to act as locum in Skye, looking forward to a peaceful stay. However, within hours of his arrival he witnesses someone being thrown off a distant cliff into the sea.When the body of Jamie Gillespie is discovered in the water, the police remain sceptical of his report, and he begins to doubt what he saw. Then a pregnant, disabled woman disappears, and Charles finds himself drawn into a primitive ritual of superstition and violence.

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The Tartan Conspiracy

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And Death the Prize

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With the Entente Cordiale still in its infancy, the Sûreté had assigned Inspector Gautier to keep a protective eye on English visitors to Paris for the racing at Longchamps. But it was not the English who engaged Gautier's attention, but an Irish surgeon - Michael Breen.Breen, fêted by the ladies of Paris, is accused of a trivial assault - and almost at once Princess Hélène's daughter goes missing and a shop assistant at Au Bon Marché is found dead just as Breen flees the country. Inspector Gautier is hot on his heels to Dublin, whilst a third murder back in Paris complicates the affair for all involved.

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For Blood and Wine are Red

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A colourful banquet at the Château Perdrix is noisily interrupted by Bishop Arkwright, an American trying to spread the cause of temperance in Europe. Inspector Gautier intervenes and has the bishop expelled. Later that night Michael O'Flynn, the Grand Officier of the Chevaliers, is murdered in the hotel where both Gautier and the bishop are spending the night.Returning to Paris, Gautier immediately finds himself in the company of Lady Jane Shelford and embroiled in another murder. Although seeming initially unrelated, the murders draw Gautier into the feuds of the temperance movement and the politics of the Burgundy wine business, where the stakes are higher than he imagined.

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Let Slip the Dogs of War

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Returning to Paris, Inspector Gautier is devastated to learn that his Dutch mistress Ingrid has been brutally murdered. Before he can begin to investigate, the British Ambassador informs Gautier that his daughter has been abducted in England. With the help of Sylvie, a secretary at the French Embassy, the inspector follows the trail to Edinburgh to track down the ambassador's daughter.Back in Paris, influential people are being murdered, and the wife of the Minister for War is abducted. Out of these shocking events a political motive begins to emerge, and Gautier, with Sylvie's help, starts to unravel the conspiracies under the looming threat of war.

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The Monterant Affair

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The victim is Sophie Monterant: a young actress who is already challenging the divine Sarah Bernhardt for the finest roles. Inspector Gautier visits the theatre to see Sophie at the first night of Dame aux Camélias, but the first night is also to be her last: after the curtain fall, Sophie eats a poisoned chocolate and dies.Gautier is immediately on the case and his investigation takes him to the upper echelons of Parisian society, including the blue-blooded Comte de Limousin and the Minister for the Beax-arts, who is likely to become the next president of France. Gautier's impertinence enrages Courtrand, the director of the Sûreté, but what is Courtrand himself concealing?

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The Death of Abbe Didier

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The Montmartre Murders

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A painter has vanished: normally an event of no importance, but Théo is the heir to a fortune, and so Inspector Gautier of the Sûreté is put on the case. Then a shady art dealer is murdered. A dealer who had acquired three paintings under dubious circumstances, from a minor artist who died in similarly dubious circumstances.But why is it that so many people want to gain possession of the paintings now - a princess, a Greek millionaire and even, in a roundabout way, Théo?

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Crime Without Passion

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Death En Voyage

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'The English should confine their murders to their own country' is the view held by Parisians when Lady Dorothy Strathy, sister of the Earl of Tain, is discovered stabbed in her hotel room. This opinion is held by none more strongly than Courtrand, the head of the Sûreté, an outrageous snob who regards the case as closed when it is discovered that Lady Strathy's paid companion, Miss Newbolt, was the first on the scene. However, Inspector Gautier is not so easily swayed and comes up with a number of awkward clues which throw doubt on Courtrand's theory, facing in the process the shady underworld of male prostitution and back-street throat-cutting - alongside more personal troubles including the death of his ex-wife - in a case with a startling dénouement.

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Death on the Cards

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When a homemade bomb explodes on a houseboat moored on the Seine, following two brutal stabbings in Pigalle, the Paris police receive a list of targets for assassination that includes the President of the Republic himself. Each murder will be announced beforehand by the arrival of a playing card.Inspector Jean-Paul Gautier believes the choice of cards, their suit and value, are significant in some way, and must follow the threads of a riddle that unfolds against the colourful backdrop of life in Belle Époque Paris and climaxes in a spectacular bal masqué.

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Death Off Stage

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Death Au Gratin

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