Author Holly Tucker Book Reviews

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“Blends an artful reconstruction of seventeenth-century Paris with riveting storytelling, presenting a contest between terror and surveillance that has strong contemporary resonances”

∼The New Yorker∼

“Spellbound by the City of Poison: Holly Tucker’s new book on 17th-century Paris”

∼Gordon O’Sullivan, Historic Novel Society∼

“ompletely absorbing.”


“The book reads like Law and Order: 17th Century Parisian Poisoners Unit.”

∼Kelly Faircloth, Jezebel∼

“a classic whodunit, bringing alive an extremely complicated and baffling series of events.”

∼Thad Cahart, Newsday∼

“Holly Tucker tells [this] story . . . with great gusto and with an amazing array of facts.”

∼Jonah Raskin, New York Journal of Books∼

“Vividly brings to life a slice of Parisian history in this rigorously researched true-crime epic…reads like a combination of the most compelling mystery fiction and Dumas’s romances of twisted court intrigues.”

∼Publisher’s Weekly∼
(Starred Review)

“Full of danger, mystery, and excitement, it will keep you up well into the night, marveling at this forgotten world of dark intrigue.”

∼Candice Millard∼
Author of Hero of the Empire

“stylish study of crimes committed by the high and mighty during the 72-year reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV.”

∼Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times∼

“Tucker’s vast body of research has been folded seamlessly into a book which is both engrossing and appalling. What unfolds is a tale of black masses, sacrificial slaughter and sacrileges beyond imagining.”

∼Sultana Bun, Bookwitty∼

“[City of Light, City of Poison] is excellent material for a romp… it is never less than gripping and enjoyable, animated by Tucker’s eye for detail and the gruesomeness of events.”

∼The Sunday Telegraph∼

“A genuinely illuminating study of a remarkably amoral moment in human history.”

∼Deborah Blum∼
Author of The Poisoner’s Handbook

“bewitching and chilling…reads like the most gripping thriller, thanks to Holly Tucker’s storytelling flair and relentless research.”

∼Adrienne Mayor∼
Author of The Poison King

“a compelling police procedural, unfolding at a moment when the process of modern police investigation was just being invented.”

∼Elizabeth C. Goldsmith∼
Author of The Kings’ Mistresses

“Imagine a novel full of sex and betrayal, conspiracy and politics, murder and magic, detective work and justice. Holly Tucker has written one—except this isn’t fiction: it just reads like it.”

∼Malcolm Gaskill∼
Author of Witchfinders

“Ingenious, engaging, and disquieting. . . . Tucker masterfully narrates a rich tale about the competing passions of faith, politics, and knowledge.”

∼Boston Globe∼

“Tucker’s sleuthing adds drama to an utterly compelling picture of Europe at the moment when modern science was being shaped.”

∼Publishers Weekly∼
(Starred Review)

“Multilayered and engrossing . . . a riveting story.”

∼Seattle Times∼

“Blood Work is fascinating and richly-researched, giving us a gory glimpse of the dawn of our scientific age.”

∼Carl Zimmer∼
Author of Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain and How It Changed the World

“Smart and addictive.”

∼Deborah Blum∼
Author of The Poisoner’s Handbook

“Blood Work is a magnificent story of the heady days when transfusions were first being performed. There is drama, intrigue, discovery and revelation in this tale and the writing is terrific.”

∼Abraham Verghese∼
Author of Cutting for Stone

“Captivating, enlightening . . . A treat: a solid dose of learning in a novelistic package, where a lesser writer might have presented only a dry account of some curious medical “

∼Paul Di Filippo∼
Barnes & Nobel Review


Receive regular updates from Holly with a behind-the-scenes look at life in France, research, and book publishing. In the lead-up to the release, Holly’s publisher will also be giving away copies of City of Light, City of Poison.

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Purchase City of Light, City of Poison

Purchase your copy of City of Light, City of Poison and get an exclusive gift pack for a limited time!

1.) Early access to chapters from City of Light, City of Poison, chosen just for folks who purchase early
2.) A Q&A with Holly: the Story Behind the Story
3.) A Personalized Bookplate to put in your copy of the book

Better yet: Support Independent Bookstores! Order from Parnassus Books and Holly will sign the book personally. (Be sure to include inscription instructions in the comments section of your order.)

City of Light, City of Poison Cover


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