The Chatelet Apprentice : The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation, Paperback

The Chatelet Apprentice : The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Its France, 1761. Beyond the glittering court of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour at Versailles, lies Paris, a capital in the grip of crime and immorality ...A police officer disappears and Nicolas Le Floch, a young recruit to the force, is instructed to find him.

When unidentified human remains suddenly come to light, he seems to have a murder investigation on his hands.

As the city descends into Carnival debauchery, Le Floch will need all his skill, courage and integrity to unravel a mystery which threatens to implicate the highest in the land.

This is the first in a series of six historical crime novels which has sold in excess of 400,000 copies in French.

The author brings eighteenth century Paris vividly to life and the story features real-life characters Madame de Pompadour and Loius XV as well as engaging hero Nicolas le Floch.

It is soon to be adapted for French Television.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages, map
  • Publisher: Gallic Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9781906040062



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A gripping, if convoluted, mystery, but delivered via a rather clunky and slow narrative (possibly a result of the translation). The tension and drama are well-paced, and the forensic element adds a darker touch to the historical Paris setting, but the lead character is a cliche of both the detective and gothic tropes. Maigret meets CSI meets The Castle of Otranto, if that is possible! The second book in the series might be worth a read, to see if the characters improve without the introductory exposition.

Review by

First in a "newish" series of police procedural novels set in late 18th century Paris. A great premise and background, but I thought that the execution was pedestrian. Interesting and well-researched historical background, but the case is convoluted and rather tedious; I found myself not especially caring how the investigation turned out. The central character Nicholas Le Floch is pretty much a cypher. (He comes straight from the "central casting school" of detectives - very familiar!) Author Jean Francois Parot does give a good sense of the streets and smells of Paris in the 1760s, and the details of judicial punishments in "l'ancien regime" are suitably horrific.