Orphaned sisters, Agatha and Blanche, make a meager living as maids in 1930s Paris. Though opposite in nature, party-animal Agatha and prudish Blanche are happy together. One night Blanche bears witness to the infamous serial killer, the Butcher of the Dances, carving up his latest victim. To Blanche’s despair, this leads directly to Agatha’s murder, and her own eviction onto the streets. Desperate to avenge her sister, Blanche examines what few clues she has and takes a job at a high-end brothel in hopes of finding the Butcher. As a call girl, Blanche’s haughtiness and ill-temper lend her perfectly to the role of the house’s dominatrix, where she can beat men senseless without ever having to touch them. As her inquiries get her underfoot of the brothel owners and local gangsters, Blanche finds her life in peril. She must tread carefully across a complex web of whores and murderers to stop the Butcher from killing again.
This book was a delightfully pulpy mystery. The art, created by the illustration team Kerascoët, is absolutely lovely, and gives this otherwise grim story a touch of elegance.