A lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as a perfumer and a mythologist search for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion…and past and present.
From the internationally bestselling author, a lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as passion and obsessions collide
An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead.
In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.
Paris, France—The Present:
A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomesobsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.
Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir . . . for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.
This mesmerizing gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.
New York Times bestselling author M.J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com and cofounder of 1001DarkNights.com She lives in Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
"M.J. Rose's latest is breathtaking. The Collector of Dying Breaths combines fascinating history, torrid romance and a compelling mystery into a marvelous package that will entice fans of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon…Rose has taken an interesting premise and uses history to tell her tale....an original reading experience.”
– Associated Press
“What can I say; M.J. Rose has done it again. She presents a story so intricate and mesmerizing that the reader can get lost in the pages…an excellent choice for avid book clubbers to discuss and debate.”
– Free Lance-Star
"Rose’s latest venture into myth and reality is a page-turning, alluring concoction of fiction infused with fantastical yet actual history. Readers will be charmed by her well-drawn and memorable characters, and they will be mesmerized by her enchanting narrative, which takes them on a mystical and magical journey."
– Library Journal (starred)
"Crisp, evocative prose elevates this above other paranormal thrillers."
– Publishers Weekly
“A suspenseful and enigmatic story, with gripping historical details and the paranormal subtext Rose has become famous for, which will please her many fans.”
"A terrific piece of entertainment."
– CT Post
"Rose masterfully combines romance, mystery, and dual timelines…The storyline and extensive historical details…are fascinating.”
– Romantic Times (FOUR-AND-A-HALF STARS TOP PICK)
"Wondrously original... elegantly written. Rose manages to utterly suspend our disbelief in a book that leaves us, appropriately enough, breathless."
– Providence Journal
"Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!"
– Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.”
– B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger
“From the labyrinthine alleyways of 16th century Paris to the danger-infused woodlands of 21st century Fontainebleau, M.J. Rose has crafted a superb, mesmerizing tale of two people separated by centuries yet linked by a haunting secret. Poison, obsession and undying love have never been so enticing—or so lethal. I could not stop reading it!”
– C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
"With an alchemist's skill, M.J. Rose mixes present and past with the dark scent of love and an intricate mystery, creating a blend that is splendidly, spookily magical."
– Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author
"M.J. Rose masterfully serves up suspense with generous sides of philosophy and intrigue. I devoured this fascinating tale about Catherine de Medici and her perfumer simmered with the compelling modern-day story of an intelligent woman in search of personal completion. Alchemy, mythology, and an exploration of reincarnation lace this tantalizing telling. A lavish and satisfying banquet of a book!"