The Dumas Club (1993) is quite an engrossing novel. At the center of the book is Lucas Corso, a book detective and a mercenary. He is charged with two tasks: to authenticate a supposed original chapter of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers and to locate all three copies of a seventeenth-century manual for summoning the devil. As is customary with the works of Pérez-Reverte, characters die under very suspicious circumstances and the cast of supporting characters is very interesting. Each of Pérez-Reverte’s mysteries delves deeply into one or more themes or settings. In The Dumas Club, the setting is the world of antique and rare books; the theme is the life and works of Alexandre Dumas. It was as much fun following the plot as it was to learn about Alexandre Dumas and his peers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Though at times, it seemed that the author was slow in tying up loose ends and closing down sub-plots. I also found issues with his portrayal of some of his women characters. I think in his later books he creates better women characters. Bibliophiles will like this book. I don’t read a lot of mysteries but I do count Pérez-Reverte among my favorite authors of the genre. The novel is translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto. A recommended read.