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AUSTIN, Texas — Mark Pryor was inspired by a bookseller as he was strolling along the famed Seine River in Paris with his wife.

"For some reason, my mind just thought: 'How quaint. How can I make this deadly?'" said Pryor, who works as a prosecutor in Austin.

"I had the inklings of an idea and we went straight from there," he said, adding that he popped into a shop for a pen and paper and then he and his wife settled in at a cafe. "I tell people that we sat in the cafe for 20 minutes or so while I jotted down notes. She'll say it's more like two hours. I would probably trust her." CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

MARK PRYOR is the author of the
Hugo Marston novels The Bookseller,
The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise,
and The Button Man, and the true-crime
book As She Lay Sleeping. Hollow Man, a standalone novel, will be published in September 2015 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 at:,
on Facebook and on Twitter.

Follow Seventh Street Books's board Hugo Marston's Paris on Pinterest.


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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 towards 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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A twenty-something American model, Amy Dreiss, disappears in Paris.

Her father turns for help to his old friend Hugo Marston, the security chief at the American Embassy. Marston makes some enquiries and quickly realizes something is amiss: Amy was not a model, as she claimed, but a dancer at a seedy bar. Now she's in Spain with a guy named Felix.

With his friend and former CIA agent Tom Green, Marston heads for Barcelona. Breaking into Felix's house, the two sleuth encounter a shocking scene: Amy's father, Bart, standing over the dead and battered body of their chief suspect. Though Bart protests his innocence, under the damning circumstances, Spanish authorities arrest him for murder.

Then Felix's body disappears from the morgue and Marston receives a grisly package containing human body parts. The two American investigators are faced with their biggest challenge ever: find the real killer, prove Bart's innocence, and locate his missing daughter-without getting killed along the way.

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In this prequel to The Bookseller, Hugo must find a reviled movie star lost in the English countryside, before a killer with a penchant for the noose finds him first.

Hugo Marston has just joined the State Department as head of security at the US Embassy in London. His task is to protect a pair of spoiled movie stars, Dayton Harper and his wife Ginny Ferro, whose reckless driving killed a prominent landowner in rural England. 

The job turns from routine to disastrous almost immediately. Before Hugo has a chance to meet them, he finds out that Ferro has disappeared, and soon her body is found hanging from an oak tree in a London cemetery. Hours later a distraught Harper slips away from his protector, and Hugo has no idea where he's going. 

Teaming up with a secretive young lady named Merlyn, Hugo's search leads to a quaint English village. There, instead of finding Harper, another body turns up in the church graveyard. 

But now the killer knows he's being tailed. At one of England's most famous tourist spots, the self-appointed executioner prepares for the final act of his murderous spree. And Hugo arrives just in time to play his part…

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Hugo Marston must figure out what lies hidden inside an old sailor's chest before a 200-year-old blood promise is revealed and claims another life.

In post-Revolution Paris, an old man signs a letter in blood, then hides it in a secret compartment in a sailor's chest. A messenger arrives to transport the chest and its hidden contents, but then the plague strikes and an untimely death changes history.

Two hundred years later, Hugo Marston is tasked with safeguarding an unpredictable but popular senator who is in Paris to negotiate an end to a dispute between France and the U.S. The talks, held at a chateau in the country, collapse when the senator accuses someone of breaking into his room. But theft becomes the least of Hugo's concerns when someone at the chateau discovers a sailor's chest and the secrets hidden within, and decides that the power and money they promise are worth killing for.

But when the darkness of history is unleashed, even the most ruthless and cunning are powerless to control it. 

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Hugo Marston must investigate a twisted grave robber . . . and a killer.

It's summer in Paris and two tourists have been killed in Père La Chaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison's grave. One of the dead tourists is American and the other a woman linked to a known terrorist; so the US ambassador sends his best man and the embassy's head of security--Hugo Marston--to help the French police with their investigation. At first, Hugo is stumped. How does this killer operate unseen? And why is he stealing the bones of once-famous can-can girls?

Hugo cracks the secrets of the graveyard, but soon realizes that old bones aren't all this serial killer wants: his ultimate plan requires the flesh and organs of the living. And when the crypt thief spots the former FBI agent on his tail, he decides that Hugo's body will do just fine.

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Who is killing the celebrated bouquinistes of Paris?

Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper.

Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold? 

On the streets of Paris, tensions are rising as rival drug gangs engage in violent turf wars. Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Though the police are not interested in his opinion, Marston is convinced the hostilities have something to do with the murders of these bouquinistes. 

Then he himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins.
With Tom by his side, Marston finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together, connecting the past with the present and leading the two men, quite literally, to the enemy's lair. 

Just as the killer intended.