Monday, February 14, 2011


Today marks the official release of ONE TRUE SENTENCE.


Paris, 1924

The place "where the 20th Century was," as Gertrude Stein put it.

A city teeming with would-be poets, writers, painters and publishers...the Lost Generation.

Hector Lassiter, fledgling author and best friend of Ernest Hemingway, is crossing the Pont Neuf when he hears a body fall into the icy Seine -- the first in a string of brutal murders of literary magazine editors that throw a shroud over the City of Lights.

Frantic to stop the killings, the literati form their own improbable vigilante band: Gertrude Stein gathers the most prominent crime and mystery writers in the city, including Hector and the dark, mysterious mystery novelist Brinke Devlin. Soon, Hector and Brinke are tangled not only under the sheets, but in a web of murders, each more grisly than the next.

They learn the killings may be the work of a strange cult of writers led by the mysterious "Nobodaddy"...a literary movement embracing nihilism and the siren song of the void.

As he is drawn deeper into the hunt, Hector is pitched between three women writers with hidden agendas and the darkest imaginations.

From the cafés of Montparnasse, through the historic graveyards of Paris and the Grand Guignol of the Catacombs, One True Sentence is an erotic literary thriller and richly sensuous, funhouse mirror that evokes the most romantic and suspenseful appeals of A Moveable Feast and The Dante Club.

"This is One Strange Book. In a good way. Vivid, remarkable characters—the historical people as well-drawn as the fictional ones!—in a rich, evocative setting, and a gruesome serial killer with one of the most unusual motives ever. Absolutely gripping!"
—Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series

"One True Sentence is the real stuff. A story that transports you into Hemingway's Paris as the backdrop for one hell of a crime novel. From the start I was there—walking in the Saint Germain district and along the Seine; eavesdropping in literary salons, smoky cafés, and used bookshops. The novel is sharp, smart, and fascinating. McDonald brings alive a unique time and place with not only his talent for history but style that would make his subjects proud. I read this one straight through."
—Ace Atkins, author of DEVIL'S GARDEN and INFAMOUS

"Craig McDonald proves he is a master of literary suspense in this riveting historical thriller set in the 1920s Paris of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. Complex protagonists, shocking murders, and a gripping tale will leave you wanting to read more."
—Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar®-award winning author of A CURTAIN FALLS

"Nobody does mad pulp history like Craig McDonald. Reading a Hector Lassiter novel is like having a great uncle pull you aside, pour you a tumbler of rye, and tell you a story about how the 20th century really went down."
—Duane Swierczynski, author of EXPIRATION DATE

"In One True Sentence, Craig McDonald has not only created a double-stranded mystery marked by shocking scenarios and revelations, but at the same time a veracious re-creation of that world of the American expatriots in Paris in the 1920s. And what is more remarkable is that he has fused all of this into a singular world. That is, the very people of that era who most fascinate us—Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Ford Maddox Ford, Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach, and many others—are not only here, but here as major characters in the mystery. Stein as a goader of her acolytes to solve the murders. Hemingway as the muscle behind the investigations of Hector Lassiter, and so on. And what's most pleasing is that you come to know and appreciate these characters as real people—or is it the other way around? In any case, they come alive in three dimensions, and you find yourself caring about them in ways you haven't before. It's a kind of amazing (and very smart) montage of mystery, murder, meta-fiction, and literary-history, quite unlike anything I've read before. I enjoyed it immensely."
—Craig Holden, author of THE JAZZ BIRD

"Although more graphically explicit than I normally enjoy, I could not put One True Sentence down. Craig McDonald has a gift for sure-footed mysteries rooted in historical accuracy. This time out, he has recreated Paris of the 1920s and peopled it with colorful members of the Lost Generation. Witty, gritty and wry. I can't wait to see where he takes Hector Lassiter next."
—Margaret Maron, Edgar®-winning author of the Deborah Knott mystery series

"A finely-crafted pulp historical mystery featuring a group of literary notaries themselves caught in a dark and fascinating pulp-like mystery. McDonald's formidable narrative strengths are all on display here—you get a sharply-wrought crime tale full of wit, wistfulness, sly satire, and authentic portrayals of Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and a dozen other legends set against the creative maelstrom of 1920s Paris. While McDonald plucks your heartstrings his wily hero Hector Lassiter will pound out a drum roll on your short ribs, and yes, you actually will be thankful for the experience."
—Tom Piccirilli, author of SHADOW SEASON

"The fourth Hector Lassiter novel is one heck of a ride through 1924 Paris—a time and place readers need not be familiar with to enjoy the story. The mystery follows a classic trajectory, with enough red herrings and curveballs to make readers who guess at the culprit early on feel exceptionally smart."
—Michelle Wiener, RT Book Reviews Magazine

"In 1924 in Paris, a killer targets the editors of small literary magazines. The culprit's M.O. is never the same with each murder more gruesome than any of the previous ones. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas order mystery writers and potential lovers Hector Lassiter and Brinke Devlin to solve the case before someone else dies. The latest Lassiter 1920s mystery contains more twists than Lombard Street in San Francisco. This is an enjoyable historical amateur sleuth (novel) as readers meet a who's who (including) Hemingway as well as the two grand dame authoresses ordering Lassiter, Devlin and other crime novelists to find the killer."
—The Mystery Gazette

"When crime novelist Hector Lassiter sees a body fall into the Seine from the Pont Neuf in 1924 Paris, Gertrude Stein rallies the troops, and Lassiter and pal Ernest Hemingway pair up to find out who is killing the city's literary editors. Edgar®—nominated author McDonald takes such care to describe the American literary expatriate community in Paris in the years after World War I that readers will feel as if they are walking alongside Hemingway and his buddies as they look for a vicious killer. VERDICT Certain to attract Hemingway aficionados and readers who enjoy hard-boiled historical crime fiction."
—Library Journal

"This time out, crime writer Hec Lassiter and best friend Ernest Hemingway are young members of the Lost Generation in Paris in 1924. Someone is murdering editors of the city's many literary reviews, and Gertrude Stein assigns Hec, Hem, and two female mystery writers to track down the murderers, a nihilistic cult called the Nadaists. It's another juicy setting for McDonald to mix real people, well-known parts of the Hemingway legend, invented characters, and murders most foul. Gertrude Stein, Alice and her brownies, Ford Maddox Ford, William Carlos Williams, Man Ray, and Aleister Crowley all play parts of varying sizes, and McDonald paints a vivid picture of Lost Gen life in Paris. He tweaks Papa by giving credit for several of his best-known lines to Hec and a Paris cop. And he creates Brinke Devlin, a stunning mystery novelist with whom Hec falls in love, even though he suspects her of evil deeds. Sadly, the preface reports that Papa will be retired from the Lassiter novels. But fans will always have Paris."
—Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

"Craig McDonald has created one of my favorite characters in recent years, Navy Colt-packing crime novelist Hector Lassiter, who finds himself in the shadows of twentieth century history, occasionally with his buddy Ernest Hemingway. McDonald's latest, One True Sentence, takes Hector back to his early days—the Left Bank of the 1920s. As in previous books, McDonald weaves the pulp through the period and its people, giving weight to the book's fantastic elements. Many times those elements are used to explore literary culture, particularly its dark side. He shows the Lost Generation in an exciting, believable mix of energy, individuality, experimental hedonism, new ideas, and self-involvement. He also shows them as just another bunch of writers trying to get published, making these historical, larger than life figures very human."
—Scott Montgomery, BookPeople

"Craig McDonald came up with a brilliant premise for a mystery series. McDonald researched the career of the legendary novelist Ernest Hemingway. Then he imagined another writer named Hector Lassiter to be Hemingway's best friend. McDonald sprinkles One True Sentence with cameo appearances by famous novelists, poets and artists who lived in Paris during that period. Then he imagines a cast of characters who force the action. McDonald's ingenious plot has this maelstrom of mystery writers who are writing their own fictional stories while simultaneously being whirled through a lethal tsunami of impending doom."
—Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News

"Murder and Paris...what could be more perfect? Craig McDonald's fourth mystery featuring a young Ernest Hemingway and his fictitious pal Hector "Lasso" Lassiter is out and it's a lot of fun. The plot involves 'Lost Generation' writers who are being murdered and the survivors' attempts to figure out who the killer is before one of them becomes the next victim. The plot, though, is almost beside the point. If you enjoy period mysteries (this one is set in 1924), then pick up One True Sentence. It will make you glad you were an English major because you'll 'get' all the references."
—Katherine Tomlinson, Kattomic Energy

"This is Craig's masterpiece. McDonald blends the fictional pulp writer Hector Lassiter, into a world of non fiction characters such as Gertrude Stein, Alice Tolkas, Aleister Crowley, Man Ray, and of course Hadley & Ernest Hemingway. McDonald humanizes these literary icons like only he can. I have always found the Lassiter novels to be intelligent, rich and thought-provoking, but One True Sentence takes the series to a new level. This one has it all, mystique, intrigue, mystery, erotica, murder, the occult."
—Signs and Wonders

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French translation coming from Belfond

Unabridged audio edition from Recorded Books


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