Tag Archives: Mark Pryor

Five-Year Anniversary Giveaway from Seventh Street Books

Before Seventh Street Books’ Five-year anniversary comes to a close, they are giving away a copy of their first book published, The Bookseller by Mark Pryor, along with a “special surprise gift” to FIVE lucky readers.

Leave a comment below for your chance to win. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 6, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life with Tom Green by Mark Pryor

So, my buddy Hugo Marston was here last year talking about a day in his life, and if I know him it was the usual mix of self-deprecating charm dosed with plenty of boy-scout adventures. That’s right, I haven’t read it because I get to see him every day doing his thing—saving injured puppies, rescuing nuns, and knitting wooly socks for bunnies with cold tootsies.

Oh, I should probably introduce myself, since everything is always about Hugo and he doesn’t normally get around to giving me my due. My name is Tom Green and I’m Hugo’s best friend. Have been since we met at the FBI Academy, when I helped him shoot and study. In fact, I think he’d admit that he wouldn’t have come top of his class if it weren’t for me.

My day normally begins at around ten, more often than not with a headache and a taste in my mouth that matches the newspaper lining in a parrot’s cage. Hugo will have been at work for several hours already, sipping lattes and hand-writing thank-you notes to guests of the US embassy where he works. Assuming he’s restocked the kitchen, I’ll make some coffee for myself and check out the news online. A couple of times a week I’ll wake up and find someone snoring next to me. If she’s pretty and I didn’t have to pay for her, I might be generous and spring for breakfast. If she’s not and I did, I’ll give her some cash purloined from Hugo’s wallet and end the transaction.

I can’t really talk about my job. It’s no secret that I work for the CIA on a contract basis, but the specifics I don’t share with anyone, even Hugo. He wouldn’t approve of most of what I do, he’s more of a by-the-book lawman. My focus is on results more than method, which is why the CIA have been good to me, kept me working despite a few issues with single malt and married women.

Hugo jokes about me mooching a room from him, which I do because of lunch. I’ve been to most places in the world and I can promise you that a long lunch at Les Deux Magots on Place Saint-German des Prés is unmatchable. It’s the kind of place you can sit by yourself for three hours and no one will hurry you. I can take a book and read while they bring their delicious tomato and goat’s cheese mille-feuilles, followed by the hand-chopped steak tartare. Thursday is my favorite day, when they do a roasted saddle of lamb. Succulent.

If I’m not working I’ll usually hook up with Hugo for an afternoon coffee. If he’s working on a fun case I’ll try and help him. He acts the Boy Scout but when he’s muddling around in the dark and isn’t sure which way to turn, he doesn’t mind me breaking a few windows to let in the light, if you know what I mean. It’s all good, we complement each other and haven’t failed on one of his cases yet.

I do worry about him, though. As much as I rib him, the guy has gone out on a limb for me in the past, put himself in a tough spot for me. There’s a chance that’s coming back to bite him now, more than a decade later. There’s this guy who I saw in Paris. Hugo didn’t believe me but I know I saw him. He’s trouble, in the worst way. If you want the details they’re covered pretty well in Hugo’s latest adventure, The Sorbonne Affair.

Anyway, although we’ve not really talked about it much I feel like I’ve put Hugo in harm’s way and so, if you really want to know what a day in the life of Tom Green is like, what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks anyway, it won’t be the usual roll of pretty ladies and fancy lunches. It’ll revolve around keeping my best friend safe.

And I’ll do it any way I have to.

Well, maybe just one bottle of wine per evening, and a scotch or two late at night. And, come to think of it, Hugo would know something’s up if I behave too well, so I suppose I’ll have to charm the occasional lady into the apartment. After all, if we change the way we live for the bad guys, then they win, right? And we can’t have that. No sirree, not on my watch.

You can read more about Tom in The Sorbonne Affair, the seventh book in the “Hugo Marston” mystery series.

Someone is spying on American author Helen Hancock. While in Paris to conduct research and teach a small class of writers, she discovers a spy camera hidden in her room at the Sorbonne Hotel. She notifies the US Embassy, and former FBI profiler Hugo Marston is dispatched to investigate.

Almost immediately, the stakes are raised from surveillance to murder when the hotel employee who appears to be responsible for bugging Hancock’s suite is found dead. The next day, a salacious video clip explodes across the Internet, showing the author in the embrace of one of her writing students—both are naked, and nothing is left to the imagination.

As more bodies pile up, the list of suspects narrows; but everyone at the Sorbonne Hotel has something to hide, and no one is being fully honest with Hugo. He teams up with Lieutenant Camille Lerens to solve the case, but a close call on the streets of Paris proves that he could be the killer’s next target.

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About the author
Mark Pryor is the author of the Hugo Marston novels The Bookseller, The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise, The Button Man, The Reluctant Matador, and The Paris Librarian, as well as the novels Hollow Man and Dominic. He has also published the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping. A native of Hertfordshire, England, he is an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children. Connect with Mark at markpryorbooks.com

All comments are welcomed.

A Day in the Life with Hugo Marston by Mark Pryor

The Paris LibrarianI set my alarm every night but it’s the city that wakes me up, the sounds of my Paris street coming alive, voices and footfalls drifting up through my half-open bedroom window. I know how lucky I am to have a top-floor apartment, looking out over Rue Jacob in the Latin Quarter.

My day starts with a morning walk to the U.S Embassy. I’m head of security there, the Regional Security Officer or RSO, but for thirty minutes I’m a regular guy on the street, stopping to buy a croissant when I spy an open boulangerie door, or pausing on Pont du Carrousel to gaze down at the River Seine. When it’s cold I wear a fedora and long coat on my walks—the former by habit, the latter hides the gun I wear under my arm. I’ve needed that more than you’d think in Paris. It’s not a dangerous place, but the bad guys here don’t think twice about dumping people in the Seine after putting a couple of holes in them.

Once I’m at work, my secretary Emma always brings me a cup of good coffee. That woman does everything to perfection but I put coffee at the top of her list. Her other main asset is that she’ll give me a “Code Green” alert when I need one. It’s a personalized warning to let me know that a certain Tom Green is headed my way. Tom’s a combustible, unpredictable, and dangerous man, prone to heavy drinking, associating with ladies of the night, and taking my money. He’s also my best friend, and lives in my spare room when he’s not away on one of his secret missions for the CIA.

My day job varies, that’s why I like it so much. My boss is Ambassador J. Bradford Taylor, a former spook but one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet and he gives me free reign, not one of those micro-managers. For instance, when my friend Max, a bouquiniste (aka bookseller) beside the Seine, went missing the Paris police weren’t interested, figured he’d gotten into a beef with some guys and taken off on his own. I knew that wasn’t right and Ambassador Taylor gave me time and resources to look for him. Likewise, when an American was killed in the famous Pere Lachaise cemetery everyone thought “terrorism,” but that didn’t fit. I believed someone was stealing bones from the graves and he let me profile, then chase, the bad guy how I saw fit.

Ah, but you’re not here for me ramble on about my cases, so back to the daily routine. Often it’s nothing more fun than organizing the other RSOs and making schedules, but sometimes I’m escorting dignitaries, or maybe investigating crimes against US citizens. I work with the Paris police frequently, and on the more serious crimes I turn to Lieutenant Camille Lerens of the Brigade Criminelle. Talk about a force of nature. Without doubt, the toughest cop (maybe human being) I’ve ever met. She’s had to be—born as Christophe Lerens, you can only imagine how it was for a black, male cop to go through the transition process from Christophe to Camille. And yet she makes no big deal about it, just does her job spectacularly well.

I have a handful of cafes and bistros I walk to for lunch, and sometimes my friend Claudia Roux treats me. I say “friend” but we date, too, in a frustratingly casual way. I’m the one doing the chasing, a new experience for me, but we’re both good-natured about it. She’s a journalist, whip-smart and beautiful to boot. It doesn’t hurt that she has family money, in the sense that she never skimps on cheap wine and good cheese. I tell her that’s all she’s good for, but we both know better.

On my walk home, and on weekends, I like to stroll alongside the Seine and talk to the bouquinistes. I met several during that first case with Max and they’ll often hold a book for me—I have a small collection of first editions, and they love to come up with something new.

Which brings us to evening in Paris. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s anywhere that makes me happier. Taking a small table at a sidewalk cafe, smelling the garlic from the kitchen, tearing off a piece of fresh baguette or chewing on an olive as I look over the menu. On weekends I’ll start with a cocktail, usually an Americano, and move onto wine for the meal. I prefer a few small courses over one large one, and the French do this magnificently. Maybe escargot to begin with and duck confit for my main course. I’m usually with Claudia or Tom, sometimes Camille will venture out with us, and hours can pass that way, intense conversation but also moments of silence, watching people go by.

How I love to people-watch, and there’s nowhere better in the world. I get to travel in my job, but I always come back to Paris. Always. You should join me one evening.

The Paris Librarian is the sixth book in the Hugo Marston mystery series, published by Seventh Street Books, August 2016.

Hugo Marston’s friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris. The police conclude that Rogers died of natural causes, but Hugo is certain mischief is afoot.

As he pokes around the library, Hugo discovers that rumors are swirling around some recently donated letters from American actress Isabelle Severin. The reason: they may indicate that the actress had aided the Resistance in frequent trips to France toward the end of World War II. Even more dramatic is the legend that the Severin collection also contains a dagger, one she used to kill an SS officer in 1944.

Hugo delves deeper into the stacks at the American library and finally realizes that the history of this case isn’t what anyone suspected. But to prove he’s right, Hugo must return to the scene of a decades-old crime.

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Meet the author
Mark Pryor is the author of The Bookseller, The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise, The Button Man, and The Reluctant Matador, the first five Hugo Marston novels, and the stand-alone Hollow Man. He has also published the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping. A native of Hertfordshire, England, he is an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children. Visit Mark on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Paris Librarian. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end August 18, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!