The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock


Description: Paris, 1686: When The Bishop of Marseilles discovers that his young cousin Charles du Luc, former soldier and half-fledged Jesuit, has been helping heretics escape the king’s dragoons, the bishop sends him far away-to Paris, where Charles is assigned to assist in teaching rhetoric and directing dance at the prestigious college of Louis le Grand.

Charles quickly embraces his new life and responsibilities. But on his first day, the school’s star dancer disappears from rehearsal, and the next day another student is run down in the street. When the dancer’s body is found under the worst possible circumstances, Charles is determined to find the killer in spite of being ordered to leave the investigation.

Opening: The sun of Languedoc poured down like molten brass. As the sound of water began to murmur in the still air, the man huddled under his wide-brimmed clerical hat straightened in his saddle and sighed with relief.

Evocative description.

An unusual setting for this hist-myst involving the Labours of Hercules as ballet where the rhetorical sub-text is The Sun King vanquishing the hydra-headed heretics. The prose style is light and engaging, so all-round, a nice treat.


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