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Lucien (Lucy) Mir is the resident odd duck in the bucolic hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, he is a compulsive liar and a melancholy weakling. When Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, forbidding castle of the Baron Von Aux he meets thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and a puppy. He also meets Klara, a delicate beauty who is, unfortunately, already involved with an exceptionally handsome partisan soldier. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery and cold-blooded murder in which every aspect of human behaviour is laid bare for our hero to observe. Lucy must stay safe, and protect his puppy, because someone or something is roaming the corridors of the castle late at night. Undermajordomo Mir is a triumphant ink-black comedy of manners by the Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers. It is an adventure story, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour with a brandy tart, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.
PATRICK DEWITT's first novel, Ablutions, was published by Granta Books in 2009. His second novel, The Sisters Brothers, won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. He lives in Portland, Oregon.