Mark Pryor’s latest Hugo Marston novel is our Pick of the Month for August! The Sorbonne Affair comes out Tuesday, August 22nd. Mark Pryor joins us to speak and sign his latest on Saturday, August 26th at 6 PM – he’ll be joined by fellow crime writers James W. Ziskin and Traci Lambrecht (of the writing duo PJ Tracy).
- Review by MysteryPeople Blogger Meike Alana
Mark Pryor is a perennial favorite here at MysteryPeople. His Hugo Marston series has just enough danger and grit for noir-lover Scott, a sufficient level of international intrigue for world traveler Molly, and a cast of well-developed realistic characters for Meike (the dominatrix who gets Hugo into a pair of leather chaps is a personal fave– but I digress). The BookPeople marketing staff witnessed quite the wrestling match when an advance reader copy of Pryor’s latest, The Sorbonne Affair, landed in the office; through sheer will Meike came up the victor (and you’re welcome for that visual).
Pryor’s Paris-based novels feature Hugo Marston, head of security for the US Embassy in Paris; the former FBI profiler’s best friend Tom is his partner in crime and the solving thereof. In The Sorbonne Affair Hugo comes to the aid of well-known American romance author Helen Hancock, who has discovered a hidden camera in her room at Paris’ Sorbonne Hotel. What begins as a surveillance affair almost immediately explodes into a murder investigation when the hotel employee believed to have been responsible for hiding the camera is found brutally murdered. Soon a racy video featuring the author in a state of undress, clasping the equally unclothed body of one of her students, spreads like wildfire across the internet. Hugo teams up with Lieutenant Camille Lerens to unmask the killer before he can strike again, but secrets run deep at the hotel and Hugo seems to hit one dead end after another. At the same time Hugo must deal with a shadow from his past that could threaten his contented life in Paris.
Pryor is a fantastic storyteller and there is much to love about The Sorbonne Affair. The complex plot is deftly woven and unspools at a perfectly measured pace; the unique characters are well-drawn and satisfyingly complex. While this is not a light-hearted cozy romp through Paris, Pryor does weave bits of humor throughout his novels; bibliophiles will particularly enjoy Hugo’s incredulity at the width and breadth of romance author Hancock’s following–it seems even Hugo’s boss is a fan! (Side note: The hardcore mystery fan looking for some great recommendations should pay attention to mentions of Hugo’s night-time reading.) Finally, Pryor’s deep and abiding love for Paris shines through in his descriptions of the city and its denizens, and a croissant with café au lait (or perhaps a wedge of brie and red wine) would be the ideal accompaniment to this latest installment in the series.
Mark Pryor is a British-American prosecutor who works as an Assistant District Attorney in BookPeople’s hometown of Austin, Texas. In addition to his six previous Hugo Marston novels, he is the author of the thriller The Hollow Man, the first in a new series. (The novel’s protagonist is a British Assistant District Attorney in Austin who is also a psychopath and goes on a killing spree. Pryor assures us repeatedly that the character is “completely fictional.”) Keep an eye out in January for the sequel, Dominic: A Hollow Man Novel, which promises to be just as creepy as the first!
The Sorbonne Affair comes out Tuesday, August 22nd – pre-order now! Mark Pryor joins us to speak and sign his latest on Saturday, August 26th at 6 PM – he’ll be joined by fellow crime writers James W. Ziskin and Traci Lambrecht (of the writing duo PJ Tracy).