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About John Pearce
But we still spend part of the year in our favorite place, the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, the Montparnasse area where Hemingway and the other expat writers lived and wrote.
When we left Frankfurt in the mid-70s we spent a couple of months touring Italy and Greece before we returned to Washington. We spent hours probing the relics of classical civilization and enjoying the good food, and in my spare time I tried to starting writing a Cold War spy novel. I was going to be the next Le Carré. That didn't work out so well -- I found the notebook, containing several pages of a mangled opening chapter, on a closet shelf last year.
I got around to that first novel in 2012, after months of pondering a very different plot, one based on the knowledge of Paris I'd accumulated over dozens of visits. "Treasure of Saint-Lazare" came out at the end of the year, followed by "Last Stop: Paris" in 2015. The third, "Finding Pegasus," is a 2018 project. I think I'm learning how to do it and can push up the pace a bit, so I hope to have a fourth one out in less than a year, and there's a list of plots waiting for later.
The good people at Readers' Favorite, the big review website, chose Treasure as its highest-ranked historical mystery of 2014. Shelf Unbound Magazine picked Last Stop as one of the ten best indie books of 2015, for which I thank both of them.
The books call on the wordsmithing skills I learned as an Associated Press reporter in Washington and as editor of an English-language business magazine in Germany. Jan, a former Washington Post reporter, edited her own magazine, and together we wrote special financial sections for the International Herald Tribune (now the International New York Times).
I left journalism when we came back from Germany and went into the securities industry, then we moved to Sarasota and bought a business. When we sold that I was able to turn my attention fully to learning how to be a novelist.
You can follow my blog at PartTimeParisian.com and my books at JohnPearceBooks.com. I invite you to join my mailing list, which I call the Eddie Grant Readers Group after the protagonist of my first two novels. You can subscribe on either of my sites and, of course, unsubscribe any time.
I hope you enjoy my books.
Sarasota, May 2018
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BEST HISTORICAL MYSTERY OF THE YEAR (Readers Favorite)
A hidden treasure. A murderous plot. A love that won't let go.His long-ago lover brings a cryptic letter to Paris, pulling Eddie Grant into a gripping wartime web of love and death. The letter provides one slim chance to find the terrorists who murdered his family seven years before. And to find a priceless treasure.
The letter sparks a danger-filled quest across Paris, the Loire Valley, and the gleaming beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast for the most valuable Nazi loot still missing, a famous Raphael self-portrait from the early 16th century. The painting and the crates of bullion that accompanied it were intended to finance the Fourth Reich, or so the rumors said.
Jen Wetzmuller, daughter of his late father's World War II colleague in American Army intelligence, found the letter after her father was run down by a car in the streets of Sarasota. For Eddie, it brings the long-cold case of his family's murder back to life.
Its clues propel him from his Paris home to Florida, where he barely escapes with his life. Then it's back home, to burrow into the darkest reaches of the German occupation.
Along the way, he and Jen restart the brief, fiercely passionate affair that he abandoned, to his regret, 20 years before.
Most of all, Treasure of Saint-Lazare is a novel of Paris. The painting mentioned, Portrait of a Young Man, remains missing, although the Polish government said recently that it still exists and is in a safe place.
"Bravo!" (Ronald Rosbottom, author of When Paris Went Dark) "An exceptionally well written book with a fast-paced story line and many plot surprises."
In the remote and gloomy mountains of Hungary, a renegade Silicon Valley billionaire is the money man behind a modern-day troop of brownshirts training in an ancient castle that once sheltered Vlad the Impaler.
Military inventor Mark McGinley and ex-Navy engineer Kate Hall race from Miami to Paris to Hungary and back to recover Pegasus, the miniature space-age submarine they’ve built for the CIA.
Along the way they fall in love, but their first real date is almost their last. After midnight, as their sailboat rocks gently on Biscayne Bay, the click of a limpet fuse Mark knows from his Navy past gives them a few seconds of warning, allowing them to escape before the boat blows up around them.
The chase is on. From Miami to a small airport near Paris, with the help of Eddie Grant, they track their pride and joy to a deep mountain lake in Hungary, where a rescue is no sure thing.
All but one
Now the leader of the gang is in his sights — but at terrible risk to Aurélie, the love of his life.
You might think Eddie Grant has done everything he can but it wouldn’t be true, at least not yet. The half-American, half-French golden boy of Paris cleaned up most of the gang that murdered his father, his wife, and his young son. The evil genius behind the plot remains out of reach, invisible, as though he never existed, but Eddie’s thirst for revenge remains as keen as ever. He won’t settle for mere justice.
In a glittering salon in the most expensive quartier of Paris, Eddie’s man surfaces, linked somehow to a shady French banker, an American TV goldbug, and a pretentious Texas congressman running for president. When the goldbug dies a gruesome death, Eddie must come to a decision: does he or doesn’t he follow the case to the end? The wrong choice could be the last one he ever makes.
Does vengeance outweigh the call of his growing romance with the beautiful Aurélie? She’s clear about it — at her urging, he jumps back into the fray, calling for help from his friend Jeremy Bentham, a retired two-star general he served under as company commander during the First Gulf War. The bewitching Jen, who he thought was far in the past, plays a key role.
In his public life, Eddie is heir to a great American industrial fortune and an investing genius who has multiplied the wealth his father left behind — and Aurélie’s handsome companion at the society events and Sorbonne soirées she loves but he would rather avoid. In the background, he’s a CIA “unofficial," who volunteers to be the Paris eyes and ears for his CIA and Desert Storm friend Icky Crane.
Kirkus Reviews said Last Stop: Paris is "A full-throttle adventure through modern Europe and the Mediterranean that’s part thriller, part mystery, and all rollicking ride." Shelf Unbound Magazine selected it as one of the six best indie books of the year.
Lauren is the story behind Treasure of Saint-Lazare and the Eddie Grant thriller series. Eddie made his name as a US Special Forces commander in the First Gulf War, then following in his family's footsteps as a businessman in Paris, where he was born and had lived until he left for college in Texas.
Lauren tells the romantic back story of his years in college and his meeting Lauren Adams, who became his wife, moved to Paris with him, and was ultimately murdered by the people who thought he knew the whereabouts of an extremely valuable painting that had been stolen by the Nazis early in World War II.