Published by Open Books on April 24, 2017
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An historical murder mystery based on real events.
Who would want to murder the world’s most famous philosopher?
Turns out: nearly everyone.
In 1649, Descartes was invited by the Queen of Sweden to become her Court Philosopher. Though he was the world’s leading philosopher, his life had by this point fallen apart. He was 53, penniless, living in exile in the United Provinces, alone. With much trepidation but not much choice, he arrived in Stockholm in mid-October.
Shortly thereafter he was dead.
Enter Adrien Baillet. A likeable misfit with a mysterious backstory, he arrives just as the French Ambassador desperately needs an impartial Frenchman to prove that Descartes died of natural causes.
But solving the mystery of Descartes’s death (Baillet soon learns) requires first solving the mystery of Descartes’s life, with all its dangerous secrets ... None of it is easy, as nearly everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted.
But Baillet somehow perseveres, surprising everyone as he figures it all out—all the way to the explosive end.