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Louis Bayard Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Fool's Errand (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Endangered Species (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr Timothy (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pale Blue Eye (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Black Tower (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The School of Night (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Roosevelt's Beast (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lucky Strikes (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Courting Mr Lincoln (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Louis Bayard is an American author of mystery and thriller novels best known for his historical mystery books including The Black Tower, The Pale Blue Eye, The Roosevelt’s Beast, Mr. Timothy and The School of Night. His books have been translated into more than eleven languages.

Bayard was born in New Mexico and spent his childhood in Northern Virginia. He is a Princeton University undergraduate and a Northwestern University masters graduate. He is a resident of Washington, DC and lectures at George Washington University about fiction writing. As a national bestseller author, Louis Bayard has been nominated for both Dagger and Edgar Awards. He is also a book reviewer, and a staff writer for Salon.com and his reviews and articles have been featured in the New York Times, Preservation, the Washington Post and Nerve.com.

The Pale Blue Eye

The book tells the story of police investigator Augustus Landor, who, due to tuberculosis, has to go to live in the American highlands, near the military academy of West Point. Times later, Landor sees himself alone, without family and full of melancholy feelings. He is the narrator, who, almost dying, decides to tell his story … the true story.

On the night of October 25, 1830, a cadet appears dead, hanged, whose body is stolen and then mutilated: without a heart. The staff of the academy find it necessary to ask for Landor’s collaboration for the investigation, which he accepts, eventually hiring an assistant to help him in the case: cadet Edgar Allan Poe, Fourth classman, who had sought him out to tell him that the murderer would be a poet.

The relationship between them intensifies as the investigations proceed and during these, Poe discovers more than what he sought, seeks the love of his life: the young Lea Marquis, daughter of the doctor of the academy. In a story full of mystery and haunting, does love and friendship prevail on the hardest evidence?

The characters are excellent and sophisticated, all of them. Since some existed in reality, the contextualization was perfect. Poe is fantastic! It’s as if it had been anyway. His personality, his character, his manner of speaking, writing, or relating to Life and with others, the writer managed to create a Poe that could have been the same, the true one, since it is easy to imagine the real person as the one who appears in the story. Every moment he seems is a pure delight. No other character could fit this role. It is the center of history, the basis, and magic of history.

The historical and environmental contextualization is also sublime, once the atmosphere presented can pass to the reader. Once again, it is as if there were, in those moments, in those places.

The intricate and complex plot is fascinating. What it seems to be the truth sometimes is not, and what it does not seem to be sometimes is. It’s a chilling story especially in the descriptions of some anatomical aspect, and this only makes everything fit better and gives strength to plot and character, and thankfully the author had not tried the words, because if he had, it would not have been so good.

There are moments of great beauty and some humor, always intelligent, almost always starring Poe. These moments make the table of ingredients present in the works are vast and well interconnected. There is the right dose of everything.

As the reader, you’ll accompany Landor and Poe in their unorthodox investigations, in a crescendo of mystery and suspense, perfectly carried out by the author Louis Bayard. And since this reading is a case in which fiction has taken possession of reality, the created character is so palpable that, in the end, we only want it to correspond to the historical one.

The School Of Night

Louis Bayard title, The School of Night, refers to a group of 16th and 17th-century intellectuals both literary and scientifically inclined. These intellectuals comprised of Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Herriot, George Chapman among others. The narrative alternates settings between 1603 and 2009 emphasizing, by contrast, the relationship between Henry and his co-seeker Clarissa Dale and Herriot’s relationship Margaret Crookshanks. The author also mirrors the relationship between Alonzo-Henry and Raleigh-Herriot and structurally it works pretty well.

There is plenty of information payload in this book, for example, a detailed look into the society of the early 17th century, a bit of plague, scientific research, and politics.

According to The School of Night blurb, during the late 16th century five intellectuals gathered under the shadow of darkness to discuss politics, God, astronomy and black arts. They formed what was known as the School of Night, and they would meet in secret to avoid the fury of Queen Elizabeth. But one of these brilliant scholars, Thomas Harriot had secrets, ones that he couldn’t share with his fellow intellectuals and only chose to share with the woman he loved.

Fast forward in the modern day Washington, a discredited Elizabethan scholar by the name Henry Cavendish is hired by an antique collector Benard Styles to investigate the whereabouts of a missing letter that dates back to the 1600s. The letter is presumed to have been stolen by Alonzo Wax, Henry’s close friend who’s now dead.

But the same letter is something of great interest to other people as well. The letter might be a clue to a hidden treasure and might be the key to the formula for alchemy, and it might provide the evidence of the existence of the men William Shakespeare coined as the School of Night.

Joining Henry in his investigations is Clarissa Dale a woman suffering from visions that only Henry can interpret. In no time, Henry and his sidekick find themselves diving into the dark work of ancient perils, entangled in a deadly plot and trapped in the dreadful legacy of long-forgotten genius.
The action in The School of Night is fast-paced, and the story is engaging. There’s plenty to care about in Henry Cavendish character and probably more in the characters of the 16th and 17th centuries figures.

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