Book Title: Floats the Dark Shadow
Series: The Paris Trilogy
Author: Yves Fey
Publication Date: September 2022 (Second Edition)
Publisher: Tygerbright Press
Audiobook: Narrated by Hollie Jackson
Page Length: 340 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill.
When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass.
Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children.
Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3GW2BO
Yves Fey has MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. Yves began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon and writing at twelve.
She’s been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, creator of ceramic beasties, writing teacher, illustrator, and has won prizes for her chocolate desserts. Her current obsession is creating perfumes inspired by her Parisian characters.
Yves lives in Albany with her mystery writer husband and their cats, Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Bronte Sisters.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.com/Yves-Fey/e/B008VHHPPC
Carrying their breakfast feast, the Revenants climbed to the pinnacle of the hill. From there it was a short walk to Sacré Cœur with its wide steps overlooking the city. Theo sat down, savoring the view of Paris and the meal to come. She wished the tree-topped shoulder of the hill didn’t obscure the view of the Eiffel Tower. It was strange to have it absent in this vast panorama. Averill and Casimir settled on either side of her, but Paul hovered behind them. Together they sipped their café au lait, sharing the quiet morning as the masons arrived to work on the still unfinished basilica. Incomplete and unconsecrated, still services were being held inside and whenever the doors opened, the sound of organ music flowed over them.
Paul gave the church a look of loathing. “It is an atrocity.”
“It looks like a petrified wedding cake,” Theo agreed, though she loved the domed shape seen from a distance, the travertine stone glowing pure white on the peak of Montmartre.
“An atrocity and a monument to atrocity,” Paul insisted.
It was not aesthetics but politics that made his voice so hard and implacable. Theo sat up straighter, tension tugging like reins at her shoulders and arms, at her throat.
“It was meant to heal the wounds of war,” Casimir said sharply, “and to expiate our sins.”
“To expiate the supposed crimes of the Communards—and to celebrate their slaughter,” Paul snarled. “The Army of Versailles lined them up and shot them. They entombed hundreds in the gypsum mines below—sealed them in with explosives. Our bomber should have blown the Sacré Coeur to smithereens.”
“He is not my bomber.” Casimir’s voice crackled like ice. “During the Revolution, men such as he slaughtered the innocent monks of La Veillée sur Oise and destroyed their hermitage. What little remained of our town the Communards decimated.”
Was that when his chateau burned? Theo wondered. Casimir would have been a child then. How horrifying.
Paul gathered breath to argue, but Averill interrupted, his voice mild. “The basilica was built on the site of the martyrdom of St. Denis.”
“Ah yes…they chopped off his head, but—behold a miracle!” Paul sneered. “Undeterred, Denis picked it up and carried it two miles, plopping it down where he wanted his abbey built.”
“Jeanne d’Arc made a pilgrimage here…” Casimir began.
Paul leaned forward, suddenly earnest. “A true heroine, Jeanne. A valiant warrior and a patriot, she did not desert the people of France. Then she was betrayed by the ruling class—”
“It is too early for argument,” Theo broke in. “We don’t need to blow ourselves to smithereens.” As a peace offering, she gave Paul a bite of her croissant, oozing marzipan and crusted with toasted almonds. Hunger triumphed over zeal. Paul turned his back on the cathedral, sat on the step behind them, and proceeded to devour his petit dejéuner. The others relaxed and together they watched a soft pink light bathe the rooftops and spires of Paris.
Averill’s gaze was dreamy. “L’insidieuse nuit m’a grisé trop longtemps….”
Treacherous night, you have intoxicated me far too long. A new poem? Theo leaned closer, but he spoke so quietly she could barely hear him at first. Ever elusive. Then he raised his head and spoke clearly.
O jour, ô frais rayons, immobilisez-vous,
Mirés dans mes yeux sombres,
Maintenant que mon cœur à chacun de ses coups
Se rapproche des ombres.
O day, O cool radiance, abide, mirrored in my darkening eyes, as now, with each beat, my heart draws nearer to the shadows…. “That’s beautiful, Averill,” Theo said. “Yours?”
“He wishes,” Paul said. “Jean Moréas.”
“I have no poems about the dawn,” Averill said, looking out over the sun-washed city. “Only the night.”