Louis Bayard Books In Order

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Fool’s Errand (1999)
  2. Endangered Species (2001)
  3. Mr. Timothy (2002)
  4. The Pale Blue Eye (2006)
  5. The Black Tower (2008)
  6. The School of Night (2010)
  7. Roosevelt’s Beast / The Beast in the Jungle (2014)
  8. Lucky Strikes (2016)
  9. Courting Mr. Lincoln (2019)

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Louis Bayard Books Overview

Fool’s Errand

An ExcerptFunny that it began with a nap. Naps usually filled him with a nameless dread. Every time he put his head on a pillow, he would remember something he needed to do something to clean though he wasn’t really that clean or a book he’d been meaning to read. Or he’d develop a sudden fear of embarrassing himself: mumbling an old boyfriend’s name, say, or drooling or some other act still undreamed of, outside civilization’s parameters. But nothing, finally, explained how unacceptable it was to be lying there in daylight lying there while the rest of the world was awake. How did people do it?On the day in question, though, a Sunday in March, Patrick had been trailing clouds of sleep deprivation. All week long he’d been sleeping poorly, and the night before, three teenage boys had broken into his car, which was parked behind his Victorian row house on Capitol Hill. Patrick might have slept till morning unawares except a neighbor on the other side of the back alley saw the crime in progress and yelled at the boys until they ran away. Then he knocked on Patrick’s door to explain what had happened, and just as Patrick was about to thank him and go back to bed, the neighbor mentioned that the police had been called and were on their way. Patrick called twice over the next hour, asking the police not to come. Two hours later a patrolman knocked on the door. He and Patrick waited another half hour for the fingerprint specialist. Still wearing his bathrobe, Patrick led them through the backyard to the car. The first thing he noticed was the Oldsmobile’s steering column, which had been peeled open like a can. The second thing was the glass from the rear left passenger window, which had resolved itself into smooth, glittering candy pebbles on the gravel. He fell asleep around 5. Around 6, his downstairs tenant, Deanna, woke him up to tell him about his car: She’d seen it during her morning jog. This left him only a few minutes of sleep before he had to get up for his violin lesson. His teacher a radiant freckled woman named Sonya, with a river of auburn hair lived only three blocks away, but 7:30 on Sunday morning was the only time of the week they could get together. Patrick was not improving.

Endangered Species

‘In his witty and beautifully written novels, Louis Bayard is establishing Washington D.C. as the District of Comedy.’ Bob Smith, author of Openly Bob, and Way to Go SmithThe Broome family is facing an uncertain future; however no one but youngest son Nick seems to notice. Driven by an inexplicable but driving certainty that they are on the brink of extinction, Nick vows to bring a child into the world by whatever means necessary. The problem? Nick is gay. The brave new world of parenting is explored as never before in Louis Bayard’s new novel, which is full of the dry wit, snaking plot turns, and vivid, well rounded characters that earned raves and fans for his first novel, Fool’s Errand. Nick’s quest for a surrogate mother will draw him to schizophrenics, Hispanic immigrants, body pierced teenagers, female escorts, a God fearing phlebotomist, an itinerant matchmaker, and an unbalanced but irrepressible young woman named Nattie, who ultimately may provide what he is seeking in the way he least expected. Alternately moving and very, very funny, Nick Broome’s quest to leave a mark on the world drives straight to the heart of the evolving nature of love and family. Louis Bayard is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nerve. Com, Genre, Lambda Book Report, and the Washington Blade among others. He is the author of Fool’s Errand, and lives in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Timothy

Welcome to the world of a grown up Timothy Cratchit, as created by the astonishing imagination of author Louis Bayard. Mr. Timothy Cratchit has just buried his father. He’s also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent ‘Uncle’ Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London’s underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets. Timothy’s life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, the enigmatic Philomela. Spurred on by the unwavering enthusiasm of a street smart, fast talking homeless boy who calls himself Colin the Melodious, Timothy soon finds that he’s on the trail of something far worse and far more dangerous than an ordinary killer. This breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London is wrought with remarkable depth and intelligence, complete with surprising twists and extraordinary heart.

The Pale Blue Eye

‘April 19th, 1831. In two or three hours I’ll be dead.’ So begins the chilling last testament of Gus Landor, a retired New York City police constable, whose numerous talents include code breaking, riot control and the ‘gloveless interrogation’. A young cadet has been found hanged at a military academy on the shores of the Hudson River. Before his body could be buried, however, it was stolen and his heart brutally carved out. Fearing a scandal, the top brass at West Point have summoned Landor to help catch the culprit, and keep his discoveries away from prying eyes. As Landor embarks on a thrilling adventure to solve the case, he uncovers a series of dark secrets and finds unlikely assistance in the form of a mischievous young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe. The Pale Blue Eye is a brilliantly atmospheric historical mystery, full of drama and unexpected twists. From the events of one seemingly ordinary afternoon, Louis Bayard conjures a tale as haunting as it is entertaining.

The Black Tower

Vidocq. The name strikes terror in the Parisian underworld of 1818. As founder and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force, Vidocq has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to capture some of France’s most notorious and elusive criminals. Now he is hot on the trail of a tantalizing mystery the fate of the young dauphin Louis Charles, son of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Hector Carpentier, a medical student, lives with his widowed mother in her once genteel home, now a boardinghouse, in Paris s Latin Quarter, helping the family make ends meet in the politically perilous days of the restoration. Three blocks away, a man has been murdered, and Hector s name has been found on a scrap of paper in the dead man s pocket: a case for the unparalleled deductive skills of Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq, the most feared man in the Paris police. At first suspicious of Hector s role in the murder, Vidocq gradually draws him into an exhilarating and dangerous search that leads them to the true story of what happened to the son of the murdered royal family. Officially, the Dauphin died a brutal death in Paris s dreaded Temple a menacing black tower from which there could have been no escape but speculation has long persisted that the ten year old heir may have been smuggled out of his prison cell. When Hector and Vidocq stumble across a man with no memory of who he is, they begin to wonder if he is the Dauphin himself, come back from the dead. Their suspicions deepen with the discovery of a diary that reveals Hector s own shocking link to the boy in the tower and leaves him bound and determined to see justice done, no matter the cost. In The Black Tower, Bayard deftly interweaves political intrigue, epic treachery, cover ups, and conspiracies into a gripping portrait of family redemption and brings to life an indelible portrait of the mighty and profane Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq, history s first great detective.

The School of Night

An ancient mystery, a lost letter, and a timeless love unleash a long buried web of intrigue that spans four centuriesIn the late sixteenth century, five brilliant scholars gather under the cloak of darkness to discuss God, politics, astronomy, and the black arts. Known as The School of Night, they meet in secret to avoid the wrath of Queen Elizabeth. But one of the men, Thomas Harriot, has secrets of his own, secrets he shares with one person only: the servant woman he loves. In modern day Washington, D.C., disgraced Elizabethan scholar Henry Cavendish has been hired by the ruthless antiquities collector Bernard Styles to find a missing letter. The letter dates from the 1600s and was stolen by Henry’s close friend, Alonzo Wax. Now Wax is dead and Styles wants the letter back. But the letter is an object of interest to others, too. It may be the clue to a hidden treasure; it may contain the long sought formula for alchemy; it most certainly will prove the existence of the group of men whom Shakespeare dubbed The School of Night but about whom little is known. Joining Henry in his search for the letter is Clarissa Dale, a mysterious woman who suffers from visions that only Henry can understand. In short order, Henry finds himself stumbling through a secretive world of ancient perils, caught up in a deadly plot, and ensnared in the tragic legacy of a forgotten genius.

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