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In Marie-Antoinette’s Secret Service (Au service secret de Marie- Antoinette)



Original Language: French | 320 pp./384 pp. | May 2019/October 2019

2 Seas represents: World excl French rights.

Rights sold: Serbia (Vulkan)


“As usual, his style of rare elegance provides a sparkling investigation, a gem of lightness shimmering with humor. Behind a delightful story with multiple twists lies a vibrant description of the halls of Versailles… Do not pass over this delicious mystery novel which is to be savored!” —Gérard Collard, La Griffe Noire

Volume 1: The Du Barry Investigation – May 2019

The brand-new series In Marie-Antoinette’s Secret Service offers a delightful tour through the Palace of Versailles’s many secret passages and tunnels. From behind her fan and ribbons, the Queen keeps a keen eye on everything that’s going on at Court. With the help of a picturesque pair of sleuths, a jewelry heist will be her first case. This droll, light-hearted novel introduces us to a cunning and manipulative Marie-Antoinette through a truculent detective story.

Recently wed to Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette is soon bored by her new role. Balls and finery aren’t enough to entertain her. An antique jewelry theft will offer her a chance to develop new skills, this time as a detective. For the sake of her mission, she assigns Rose, a milliner, and Léonard, a hairdresser, the role of spies. The only problem is that Rose and Léonard can’t stand each other. Rose is compulsively neat and orderly; Léonard, a party animal. The only words they ever trade are insults. But they’re going to have to learn to get along if they want to earn a spot in Court. Their investigation begins in town, where two murdered bodies have just been found. Are the murders connected to the jewelry heist? Will the two servants manage to curry favor with the Queen by finding the treasure? Hidden by her fan and her towering hair-dos, Marie-Antoinette will take on an entirely different role than the one assigned to her!

Volume 2: No Rest for the Queen – October 2019

A new investigation in the “In Marie-Antoinette’s Secret Service” series, featuring Rose and Léonard, a pair of amateur sleuths who are as clumsy as they are endearing. New facets of Marie-Antoinette are revealed: gambling, manipulation… The Queen still has plenty of surprises up her sleeve! 

Upon the death of Louis XV, France – and Marie-Antoinette – get a new king. Locked into her new status as queen, and condemned to share her life with a man she doesn’t love, Marie-Antoinette is profoundly bored. Then the country suffers a terrible famine and the masses are demonstrating at the gates to the castle! 

When Rose, a milliner who’s always armed with her thimble and her silk ribbons, and Léonard, a hairdresser who has no equal with scissors and curls, happen to win an Aztec statuette in a prize draw, Marie-Antoinette realizes that it’s the solution to all her problems. She wants to end the famine, and, while she’s at it, entertain herself by playing detective. Obliged to act secretly because she’s under constant surveillance by the King’s men, she assigns Rose and Léonard the task of finding the rest of the treasure. But the milliner and the hair-dresser soon run up against a strange curse: everyone who had the treasure in their hands has been found dead with a Spanish doubloon in their mouths. 

Squabbles, jealousy and manipulation are on the menu for this delightfully ludicrous and entertaining investigation.  

Strong Points

  • An entertainingly comical police procedural in a similar vein to: M. C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin books, Albin: 875.000 copies sold (GFK figures, all volumes combined), Julia Chapman’s Dales Detective Series, Laffont: 80,000 copies. GFK
  • A semi-paperback format with an attractive price (€14) that makes for a perfect Christmas gift.
  • By the author of “Du Barry’s Investigation” the first volume in the sparklingly addictive, “In Marie-Antoinette’s Secret Service” series.  
  • Ad campaign to promote the series.

Frédéric Lenormand has always sprinkled his historical mysteries with a madcap sense of humor. As the author of “Judge Ti’s New Investigations,” he he has received, among other awards, the Arsène Lupin Prize; as well as the Historia Prize for Historical Crime Fiction for his “Voltaire Investigates” series. After The Du Barry Investigation (Editions de La Martinière, 2019), No Rest for the Queen is the latest investigation in his “In Marie-Antoinette’s Secret Service” series.