Lorient on the Breton Coast and a U-boat bunker, a murder but is the Reich's most-venerated Kapitän Kaestner, of the famous doll - making family, guilty?

‘Along with a compelling mystery, we have Janes' sure grasp of period detail and his seamless way of mixing fact and fiction. We also have St-Cyr and Kohler themselves, two opposing soldiers forced to forge an alliance.' Booklist, Chicago.

‘In a genre filled with unusual characters St-Cyr and Kohler remain two of mystery fiction's most original creations. An excellent series of mysteries.' David Pitt, the American Library Association.

‘Janes gives us a very complex criminal investigation, characters who evoke sympathy and empathy and scenes that are so real we can smell the sweat, urine and fear in the underwater hell of the U-boats. As an added bonus, he also gives us some detailed geographical and archaeological descriptions of the terrain and artifacts of the Breton region (megalithic remains of the Carnac area). Best of all, he paints a vivid picture of life during the dark days of World War II when the red and black swastika flag waved over a blacked-out Occupied France.' Barbara Davey, The New Mystery Magazine, and The Mystery Review.


The Dordogne, a cave whose stone-age art rivals that of Lascaux, a film crew, and the brutal murder of a local postmistress.

‘A policier of extraordinary originality ... remarkably charming sleuths ... vivid studies of everyday life couched in sympathy for the feelings of a defeated people.' Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review.

‘All Janes' work is carefully researched, tightly crafted, imaginatively plotted, and fearlessly frightening.' The Poisoned Pen.

‘Highly original ... a detective team as credible as it is unusual.' Publishers Weekly.


Paris and the Hotel Ritz. Diamonds destined for the Reich have been stolen by an international safe-cracker.

‘Shades of Deighton ... an atmospheric and exciting novel.' Publishing News.

‘Janes' research into the period is impeccable, his characters are in tune and, as always, his plot is well-constructed and the detection carefully thought through. This is another fine work in this consistently excellent series.' Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail.

‘A highly imaginative series. A fine, teasing plot as befits a tale of wartime crime but for me the real joy is drawn from Janes' wonderful depiction of occupied France.' Rachel A. Hyde, The Historical Novels Review.


Here the very early Renaissance is set side by side with the Occupation as St-Cyr and Kohler unravel the murder of a designer who made period costumes for a group of madrigal singers she wished to join only to be excluded.

‘As always Janes has plenty of atmosphere and a great setting: Avignon with a palace built for popes and a history of war and deception.' Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail.

‘This is occupied France and a bitterly cold January 1943. Janes is adept at description and I think that even if you read this novel on a tropical beach, you would still feel chilly. A starkly stylish and involved story that seems to be just the right length for enjoyment. Well worth reading.' Rachel A. Hyde, The Historical Novels Review.


Paris, the former Restaurant of the Gare de Lyon, a shipment of honey, a dead beekeeper, a wife who won't say much, and the Wehrmacht's Procurement Office, the biggest black-market dealers of them all.

* Among the Favourite Books of 2001: ‘Janes' prose is elegant, his characters enigmatic and his scenes dramatic, but his tales can be brutally explicit, exploring the innumerable ways in which humans mistreat each other.' J. Kingston Pierce, January Magazine.

‘Vivid understanding of collaborative shadings and black markets.' The Guardian.


Vichy and home of the Government of France. The murder of the mistress of a high-ranking employee spells corruption and intrigue among the highest levels of government as St-Cyr and Kohler chase down the Flykiller.

* Hammett Award Nominee 2002

‘The 12th in this excellent series set in Occupied France proves once again that the small murder, set against the backdrop of war and genocide, is compelling.' Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail.

‘Another cleverly conceived and executed story ... even the most cynical reader might be forgiven for thinking the events might actually have taken place. Robert Janes' attention to detail is well known, and the documentary-style background greatly enhances the twists and turns of his Machiavellian plot. Characters have lives off the printed page and their motives are always believable. Another absorbing thriller.' Mark Campbell, Crime Time, Issue 29.

Further praise for J.Robert Janes' Wartime Series of Mysteries

‘Brilliantly and evocatively written.' The Austin Chronicle.

‘One of the most unusual crime-fighting duos in detective fiction.' The Mystery Review.

‘A master of the psychological thriller. Imaginative and brilliant in conception, skilled, engaging, and superb in execution. Highly recommended.' The Midwest Book Review.

‘Janes has effectively recreated a period of French history that is usually unacknowledged or swept under the rug. Original and gripping.' The Drood Review.

‘Janes hooks you quickly. You are drawn to the sympathetic characters of the two detectives. They are not the brutal policemen associated with wartime, but decent men in a world of brutality.' The Spectator.

‘With cunning prose and brilliant employment of period detail, Janes makes each experience palpable and disturbingly real ... a masterful storyteller.' The Buffalo News.

‘My favourite Canadian author.' Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, photographer and author, CBC Letters From.

‘Mysteries in which policemen have to work within the parameters of a totalitarian state are an art form in the hands of writers like Martin Cruz Smith, Philip Kerr, and J.Robert Janes.' Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail, 15 February 2003.

* In October 2002, at their annual meeting in Baltimore, the Western Society for French History, whose members are professors, paid the series the ultimate compliment by holding a plenary-session panel: The Convergence of History and Fiction in the Novels of J.Robert Janes.