Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch. Today, I have an extract to share with you all from this second instalment in the Salazar Mysteries. My thanks to the publisher and to Emma Walton for the invitation to join and for providing the extract.
Author : Seth Lynch
Title : A Dead American in Paris
Series : The Salazar Mysteries #2
Pages : 270
Publisher : Fahrenheit Press
Publication date : April 9, 2018
Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter. He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.
A Dead American in Paris places Salazar in the midst of an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder. It’s enough to make you want to chuck it all in and take a job cleaning out the sewers. But Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.
Although he was no longer there it was easy to picture him, slumped over the table with a knife buried deep in his back. The blood stains on the table, chair and floor remained and I’d seen enough dead men to fill in the gaps. I do try to remember that they’re all different, that each body represents a distinct life ended. A life with its own passions of love and hate. Its own stomach problems, bad breath and aching feet. But no matter their differences before the final heartbeat, all Death’s children are alike.
A musty unpleasantness permeated the atmosphere. This was tempered by the final traces of Chief Inspector Belmont’s cigarette smoke. Ah, if only I could have been outside where the smell of rotting pigswill commingled with the odour of emptied chamber pots and the eye-stinging fumes of the Bordeaux train.
Belmont ground his cigarette into the floorboards. He didn’t look in the least concerned about contaminating the crime scene. If I’d mentioned it to him he would have said, ‘my cigarette is no more contaminating than you are, M. Salazar.’ And I suspect that he wouldn’t have been averse to grinding me into the floorboards either, not because I was annoying him but because, according to him, I was wasting his time. Or he might have pointed out that this was no longer a crime scene but an apartment, with a sordid recent history, to let.
Belmont yawned and scratched his nose. Then he said: ‘he’d been sat there for at least twenty-four hours before we found him. Not all of those stains are blood but they are all bodily. Not squeamish, are you, M. Salazar?’
‘I stopped being squeamish when I found myself in an artillery crater with a sergeant of mine. He’d been hit by shrapnel. I held his guts in for three hours until he died. Then I spent two hours watching them slowly spill back out. By then it was dark and I was able to crawl the four-hundred metres back to our trench.’
‘Ex-soldier, good man.’ Belmont pulled a tobacco pouch from his jacket pocket and rolled himself another cigarette. He fumbled with a silver lighter, which clicked and sparked without producing a flame. I took pity on the poor chap and offered him a light, then I lighted one of my Gitanes. After all, it’s much nicer to smoke in company.
‘I know you’re not in the least enthused by my presence, Chief Inspector.’
‘On the contrary, M. Salazar, I couldn’t be happier. Without your investigation we wouldn’t be running the risk of a murderer going free. It makes a sport of it all, don’t you think?’
He chose that moment to blow a smoke ring at the ceiling and he looked so nonplussed that I couldn’t be sure he wasn’t being serious. However, no investigator, be him private or flic, relishes another’s nose in his case. So I decided our Inspector Belmont must be a born cynic.
If you enjoyed this extract and you’d like to find out more, then you’re in luck as A Dead American in Paris is available to buy!
Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.
With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.