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The Chatelet Apprentice (Nicolas Le Floch #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  518 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Paris, janvier 1761. Nicolas Le Floch, un jeune homme natif de Guérande, débarque dans la capitale, écarté de sa Bretagne par son tuteur. Après un passage au couvent des Carmes, le jeune Le Floch va apprendre le métier de policier sous la houlette de M. de Sartine, le lieutenant général de police de Louis XV, chargé des affaires spéciales. Le Floch va devoir faire très vit ...more
Paperback, 343 pages
Published 2007 by Gallic Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai absolument adoré ce premier livre contant les aventures de Nicolas Le Floch - très vite happée par l'intrigue, j'étais contente de retrouver un peu tous les jours ce vieux Paris du 18ème siècle qui se superposait à mon Paris à moi.

Pour qui aime les intrigues policières et l'histoire, ce livre est une mine d'or, un petit bijou. Certaines scènes et détails sordides concernant la question ou des exécutions notoires m'ont retourné l'estomac de bon matin, me faisant penser qu'on vit quand même b
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1761 Paris, this is the first in a series of books featuring Nicolas Le Floch. We first meet Nicolas as a young man, whose guardian, Canon Le Floch, has recently died. Abandoned as a baby twenty two years previously, his godfather, Marquis de Ranreuil, seems to have turned against him – refusing to consider him as a possible husband to his daughter, Isabelle, whom he has loved since childhood.

When Nicolas is sent to Paris, he is determined to be a success. Monsieur de Sartine, the Lieute
Caroline Taggart
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Mail on Sunday review quoted on the cover of this book says, ‘Reads like a cross between a Maigret mystery and Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ Sorry, but that's rubbish. It’s a convoluted murder mystery (which Les Liaisons Dangereuses is not) set in 18th-century Paris and contains many squalid details of decomposing corpses, arsenic poisoning and impoverished prostitutes (which LLD does not).

However, that review isn’t the author's fault. What is his fault is the heavy-handedness with which he sh
Sara Bauer
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm so obsessed with this new to American soil series, I just ordered the second and third books from England. You'll have to force yourself to put this book down. Will totally consume your life--which is what great books always do.
1780s Paris. A 22 year old orphan who has been bought up by his wealthy guardian comes to the city. He is suddenly a policeman, then a confidant to the big boss, then given a most secret of secret assignments and an ending where he brilliantly solves numerous riddles.. There are a lot of prostitutes, brutal murders, men behaving badly, recipes of the time and the King is still a God. Only one of the murderers and the policemen's offsider talk about the bad side of when the poor have no rights, n ...more
Annie M
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a good first novel...I picked it up because I currently live in Paris (and have traveled extensively in Brittany) and I thought it would be cool to read about familiar streets and areas from a bygone era. On this point Parot did not disappoint. He really gave a sense of Paris during the mid-18th century and the tensions that lead up to the revolution are present, without being foreboding. I disagree with some reviewers that criticized the author for being too detailed or showing off his ...more
Nicholas Le Floch series:

4* L'enquête russe (Nicolas Le Floch #10)
CR L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux (Nicolas Le Floch #1)

Since this is the first book of this series, the plot takes some time in order to speed up the narrative. A series to be followed.
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in 1761 Paris, this is the first in a series of books featuring Nicolas Le Floch. We first meet Nicolas as a young man, whose guardian, Canon Le Floch, has recently died. Abandoned as a baby twenty two years previously, his godfather, Marquis de Ranreuil, seems to have turned against him – refusing to consider him as a possible husband to his daughter, Isabelle, whom he has loved since childhood.

When Nicolas is sent to Paris, he is determined to be a success. Monsieur de Sartine, the Lieute
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would really like to read the succeeding books in this series I have just discovered. Considering how good this is one is surprised that - despite the fact that these need to be translated from the French - the American public is not yet familiar with Parot's work.

Set in Paris at the time of Louis XIV, you might think this is just another historical mystery, but the protagonist is quite endearing in his naiveté and in the maturity he has gained by the last page. Good character development. The
Margaret Kearney
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was quiet looking forward to this book.Historical fictional mysteries are my fave genre.But I was a bit disappointed with this book.I think it may have something to do with the fact its a translated book.French humour,style of writing and speech is slightly different from English so I dont think the story translates too well.I found the character dialogue a bit stilted and baffling at times.And the mystery wasnt very exciting.I also found I couldnt identify with the main character.The characte ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historique, policier
Absolument fantastique!!! Si vous aimez les romans historiques et les bonnes enquêtes policière, foncez dévorer les aventures de Nicolas Le Floch!!!
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great mystery thrown into the historical fiction pile -- and it works! You walk in Paris of old and even the stench is there....gritty, sharp and very well done!
Claire Scorzi
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vídeo resenha em breve ;)
Camille de Fleurville
After I had finished "The Unburied", I was still not in the mood for some "serious" reading. I thought about "The Quincunx" by the same author (Charles Palliser) and brought it my bedside before dinner. Then, it being a fine evening with both Girls, I induced them to watch three short TV programmes about some "affairs" of French history, which may have been enigmas or mysteries : the case of the poisons under Louis XIV (1680), the assassination of Henry IV (1610), and the end of the Order of the ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policier
Je ne m'attendais pas à être aussi contente de ce livre!

L'énigme est bien construite mais ce qui m'a surtout plu, c'est que l'histoire se passe au XVIIIème siècle. J'ai adoré me plonger dans ce monde si différent du nôtre et remarquablement bien décrit par l'auteur; on n'a aucun mal à imaginer les décors, les personnages, les vêtements, les habitations, etc.

Si le vocabulaire n'est pas très compliqué, il faut en revanche être très concentré pour suivre le héros dans son enquête! J'ai parfois eu d
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful French mystery set in the 18th century. Nicholas Le Floch is appointed as an investigator to solve a mysterious death and to help Monsieur de Sartine, Lieutenant General of Police in Paris to find important sensitive State documents that have gone missing.

The author creates a mesmerizing atmosphere that allows the reader to almost smell the foul air in Paris and feel the crunch of snow underfoot. The book is full of interesting scenes and well developed characters. As this is
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is interesting yet easy to read. The author moves the heroic and good-natured Nicolas Le Floch through the historic landscape of mid eighteenth century France. Mostly it gives an interesting picture of the era, and one wonders how a government that appeared so strong and invincible was doomed to be destroyed within a few decades. At times the inclusion of historic names and places seems contrived and detracts from the narrative. Nicolas, like other historic novel heroes, has modern sen ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Awesome book about crime and history. I read this kind of genre for the first time and it's amazing. I love it.

The book is complexe of facts, history and good crime. Excellent writing style and very memorable characters.I liked the little details about the food, the style of living in this era. The plot was very interesting. In one time you think you know who the murderer is and it changes immediatly.That's a good thriller - to have alot of surprises while you are reading it.

I hugely reccomend
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was nervous to read this after seeing very mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. The main character is interesting and charming, Paris is well-illustrated (although maybe slightly over described) and the mystery was well-paced. I am surprised by how much I did enjoy it! Only lost a star for the ending, a type I never really appreciate in mysteries. But still a wonderful period read, and I hope there is a second!
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very satisfying mystery, well worth reading. I enjoyed the historical aspects of the novel, learning more about Paris in the time of Louis XV.
The Twins
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-series
Nicholas Le Floch is a great character and the setting in Paris in the 1760's is authentic and interesting! Will definitely read more of Jean-Francois Parot
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, crime, thriller, ce
J'ai emprunté ce livre car je savais que les enquêtes de Nicolas Le Floch avaient été adaptées à la télévision, mais je n'en savais pas plus car je n'ai vu aucun épisode.
Le début est un peu longuet, avec la présentation des différents personnages, et Nicolas est parfois un peu niais (ça ne dure jamais longtemps et il apprend vite de ses erreurs), mais dans l'ensemble, j'ai beaucoup aimé l'écriture et l'intrigue. Je pense en lire d'autres de la série à l'occasion.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A few too many characters for my distracted brain to keep track of. Interesting characters with many plot twists and a smattering of period life. It needs an additional editor for proper comma usage, which was only minimally annoying.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful detective story ,

Formidable , un peu comme Sherlock Holmes à Paris avec son Watson , la France du 18e est rendue en details complèxes
Pour un amateur d histoire avec grand vocabulaire en ancien français
I had very high hopes for this series but the first book was just ok; nowhere near as good as Imogen Robertson's series set in late 18th-century England.
Kay Wahrsager
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fabulous beginning of a 18th century French series starring a charismatic policeman who is also a Marquis and has many swashbuckling adventures!
Ric Parks
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I loved the writing style and the period detail but the story itself was way way too drawn out for my taste. It felt like a whole lot of filler.
Michael Rhode
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Very slow going, perhaps due to the translation? I'll try volume 2, as the author gives a nice sense of the crappiness of even the best lives in 18th C France.
Melisende d'Outremer
Set in 18th Century Paris, this is the story of Nicholas le Floch who joins the police force and his investigation into the disappearance of Commissioner Lardin.

Whilst not familiar with 18th Century France, the cast of characters, the scenery and the lengthy story-line failed to hold my attention and I struggled through this - but did not finish it.

I love a good historical mystery - and there are some good non-fiction ones out there, which I would recommend over this.
The Chatelet Apprentice by Jean-Francois Parot (translated by Michael Glencross) is set in Paris in 1761, some 30 years before the Revolution. Signs of the discontent, and the obvious reasons for the discontent, are obvious. The strict hierarchy and class conflicts, extreme poverty, the costs of the Seven Years War with Britain were already in place long before events began to escalate in the 1780's.

This Paris of 1761 that Jean-Francois Parot describes in sometimes excruciating detail is a domin
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Jean-François Parot is a French diplomat and writer of historical mysteries, born in Paris.
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Other Books in the Series

Nicolas Le Floch (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Man with the Lead Stomach
  • Le Fantôme de la rue Royale
  • L'affaire Nicolas le Floch
  • Le crime de l'hôtel Saint-Florentin
  • Le sang des farines
  • Le cadavre anglais
  • Le Noyé du Grand Canal
  • L'honneur de Sartine
  • L'Enquête russe
  • L'année du volcan