An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead.
In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.
Paris, France—The Present:
A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomesobsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.
Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir . . . for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.
This mesmerizing gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.
My review for The Hypnotist
My review for The Book of Lost Fragrances
M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of fourteen novels and two nonfiction books. She is a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and founded the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. Rose lives in Connecticut with composer Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled dog, Winka. To learn more about M.J. Rose and her work, visit her website at: www.mjrose.com.
When I read the synopsis and saw the name Catherine De Medici, I was thoroughly intrigued by that alone. The only thing I really knew of her was she liked to poison people, and who wouldn't be thrilled by the mystery in that.
This story is quite the play on that only piece of knowledge I had. But much more detailed and in depth.
In true M.J. Rose style, this book is filled with links to history, mystery and suspense. I enjoy reading her books a lot. In fact, her books are the only ones that I have read where I appreciate the flipping back and forth between time periods. Generally that would drive me nuts, but she always makes it work. She has a talent at connecting the different time eras.
The only thing that still sticks out in my mind was wondering if they really would have had votive candles in the 1500's? I know tapers were around, but votive? I feel I need to know this.
I also like how the books are in a series, but can easily be read as stand alone books. I have only read 3 now, and not in a straight order. I don't mind going back and forth though, I don't think I'll miss anything. Each story is unique even if with some characters in each. I haven't read every one and don't feel lost so neither should you. I will be reading the others in case you are wondering....
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