The Charles du Luc Historical Mystery Series

The Whispering of Bones (Book 4)


"...The Whispering of Bones is a suspenseful mystery that winds and twists like the streets of Paris. Charles du Luc is an exceptional character. Engaging, strong-willed, intelligent and introspective, Charles is a detective before the word existed...Charles's keen observations, the fragile web of clues he must pull together into a cohesive story, make for a compelling mystery that will leave you guessing right up to the emotionally tense climax...Rock engages the reader from the first sentence...The prose flows beautifully to create the feeling of Paris in the 1600's, but it is Ms. Rock's ability to make this murder and Charles's own motivations relevant to modern society that really sets this historical mystery apart. Charles's struggle to forgive himself [for] past actions, to recognize the flaws within himself, and still strive to be a man of god, a man who can find justice, a man who wants to be a little better than he was the day before is a characteristic that many of us still feel. THE WHISPERING OF BONES is a must read for fans of historical mysteries. Judith Rock will not disappoint."

Jennifer Barnhart, review, December 18, 2014

"A banned and libelous book, the Monita Secreta, a kind of Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with Jesuits instead of Jews as targets, is back in circulation in Paris. Is there a connection with the murders? Du likeable and sane, living in a Parisian world that comes alive with details and color...[the author]not only read the 17th century French version of the Monita Secreta in Paris's Mazarine Library, she also read what passed as the newspapers of 1687... I found the book to be meaningful, insightful, funny, and suspenseful. It's a delight to find this kind of intelligent, well-researched historical novel, and even more gratifying to know that it's part of a series. Recommended."

Kristen Hannum, Historical Novels Review, November 2013

"...The Whispering of Bones is a fine example of a historical mystery that features an intricately devised storyline. The conflict that Charles feels between his devotion and what he considers his duty is apparent to the reader, and the choices he makes are indeed difficult ones. The time and place are richly drawn and fully realized, a perfect backdrop to this well-paced and nicely plotted mystery."

Mysterious Reviews, by Betty of The Betz Review, Jan. 14, 2014

"Rock delivers another polished performance in her fourth Charles du Luc mystery...Scrupulous historical research, psychological nuance, and colorful period descriptions enrich this solidly plotted tale."

Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2013

Romantic Times gives The Whispering of Bones highest rating--4 1/2 stars!--and makes it a TOP PICK among books coming out in November. Here's their review:

"Seventeenth century Paris comes to life in Rock's latest Charles du Luc mystery. A lavish historical setting is paired with a well-plotted, suspenseful mystery that keeps the reader enthralled. The characters are engaging and easy to identify with because of their complex yet very human personal backgrounds."

Roseann Marlett, Romantic Times (for upcoming Nov. issue)










Pernelle's Escape: (e-Novella)

Ever since the first Charles book, The Rhetoric of Death, came out, readers have wanted to know what happens to Pernelle after the book ends. Pernelle's Escape tells more of her story and her struggle to reach Geneva and her little daughter Lucie--and reveals the secret she fears.

NOW available on Kindle and Nook.


"I read Judith Rock's first two books in the Charles Du Luc series, and loved every word of them. When the Novella came out telling how Pernelle escaped I was so delighted. The clever twists and turns of how she managed to get to out of Paris, and cross the border into safety were so exciting. Now I wonder what happened next?"

Chili Lautenschlager (Amazon)









A Plague of Lies (Book 3)

A Plague of Lies, Charles du Luc's 3rd adventure, comes out on October 2, 2012. Charles visits Versailles with other Jesuits to give a saint's relic to the pious Madame de Maintenon, the king's secret new second wife. She dislikes Jesuits because the king's Jesuit confessor is helping the king keep the marriage secret. A courtier--someone from Charles's past--dies, and the autopsy shows poison. Then members of the Jesuit delegation fall direly ill and rumors accuse Madame de Maintenon of being the poisoner. In the midst of this, the king's bastard daughter is desperately defying her father and trying to escape her upcoming marriage to a Polish prince. When one of Charles's Louis le Grand students vows to save her, Charles discovers that the boy is part of a plot against the king himself. And Charles is faced with protecting his student, the school--and a king he abhors.


Publishers Weekly calls A Plague of Lies a "fine third novel..."
Read the complete review here

Noted Irish novelist Derek Gunn, in his review of A Plague of Lies for International Thriller Writers finds "...a great mix of mystery, excitement and intrigue in this novel with excellent insights into a world on the cusp of great changes....[a] truly excellent series."
Read the complete review here

More About A Plague of Lies:

Use these links to read what's on Marshal Zeringue's Campaign for the American Reader site.

The Page 69 Test: A Plague of Lies
What is Judith Rock reading?
Writers Read: Judith Rock


Available soon in Large Print edition



The Eloquence of Blood (Book 2)

Christmas Eve, 1686. A furious old man interrupts a ceremony in the Jesuit church, a young girl claiming an inheritance also claimed by the Jesuit college dies, and songs and gossip on the bitterly cold Paris streets accuse the Society of Jesus of murder. Charles directs rehearsals for the college's Carnival show, and threads his way through the growing anti-Jesuit anger in the city and into a desperate covey of beggars, the secrets of a Capuchin monastery, and the ancient coils of human greed...


"...Rock provides meticulous details of everyday life across various social classes with an engaging style...touches of humor and insight...This is the second mystery featuring du Luc, the first being The Rhetoric of Death. It isn't necessary to have read the first to find oneself quickly pulled into du Luc's world, however, as Rock skilfully weaves information throughout that hints at the first book and du Luc's past. In du Luc, Rock has created a highly likeable scholar-detective. I hope that his adventures will play out for many books to come."

(L.K. Mason, Historical Novels Review, November 2011)

"...hard to put down...[Rock's] historical accuracy resonates here, transporting you to 1686 Paris. Her intriguing plot and protagonists with whom readers are becoming good friends make this a necessary read for all who enjoy historical mysteries..."

(starred review, Susan Hayes, Library Journal, Sept. 2011)

"Set in Paris in 1686 during the Christmas season, Rock's second novel featuring Charles du Luc is every bit the equal of her impressive historical thriller debut, The Rhetoric of Death....Readers will hope this energetic and engrossing sequel will be the first of many."

(starred review, Publisher's Weekly, Sept. 2011)


Also available in Large Print edition

The Rhetoric of Death (Book 1)

Paris, 1686. In the Jesuit college on the rue St. Jacques, rehearsals for the August ballet and play are in full swing. Onstage, Hercules slays monsters. Offstage, a killer is on the loose. And the Siamese ambassadors, on their way to see Louis XIV, are coming to the college show. Charles, the young Jesuit rhetoric teacher--and ballet producer--trying to do his job, keep his vows, and stop the murders, falls into the net of the first Paris police chief. As if that's not enough trouble, Charles's long ago first love shows up and desperately needs his help...


"Rock...captures a city and a time that is lively, dangerous and politically charged and makes it sing."

Kirkus 9/15/10 (starred)

"Rock's superb historical debut...incorporates details of the political issues of the day into a suspenseful story line. Fans of Brother Cadfael...will be pleased."

Publishers Weekly 8/2/10 (starred)


Also available in Large Print edition