L’énigme des Blancs-Manteaux is the first volume in Jean-François Parot’s celebrated and best-selling series chronicling the adventures of Nicolas Le Floch, Commissioner of the Châtelet in eighteenth century Paris. Venturing to Paris from Brittany in 1761, Nicolas is thrust into his first investigation after a corrupt police commissioner is found murdered outside his home. Under the supervision of Monsieur de Sartine, Louis XV’s lieutenant general of police, Nicolas must deal with the victim’s philandering wife and a host of other unsavory informants, henchmen, spies, traitors, and other power-hungry characters, all the way up to the Marquise de Pompadour and Louis XV himself, to finally piece together the mystery.
L’énigme des Blancs-Manteaux is typical of the series’ lively evocation of eighteenth-century Paris. The minutely described architecture, streets, back-alleys, underground passageways, taverns, brothels, and salons, together with the captivating religious, political, and court intrigues of the time, combine to create an authentic and absorbing atmosphere.