Alan Gordon Interview

February 1, 2010 interviews
the author of The Parisian Prodigal

author Alan GordonOn February 1, 2010, Alan Gordon visited the blog. He's the author of eight "Fools' Guild" mystery novels, including #8, The Parisian Prodigal. Alan's fools are medieval jesters who belong to a secret guild devoted to improving their skills and defending civilized society. Appropriately, the novels are packed full of jests.

What gave you the idea to make your jester sleuths part of an organized Fools' Guild?

When reading about the Middle Ages in Durant's The Age of Faith, I suddenly thought of having the fools have their own guild, making it part training, part secret society. Then, while researching the fifth book, I discovered that there were Fools' Guilds in Swabia, formed in each village to create the masks and revelry for Fasnacht, a pre-Christian drive-away-the-winter holiday that was a precursor to Mardi Gras.

Did people in the Middle Ages crack jokes as bawdy as Theo and Claudia do in The Parisian Prodigal?

There are few surviving examples of actual jokes, but based on what I've seen, yes. There was also a tradition in some areas of having the fools perform naked. I assume that was bawdy at the time, unlike now. Oh,
wait ...

If Theo and Claudia time-traveled into the twenty-first century, what would they think of us?

They would be as distressed at the lack of peace in the world as I am. But there would be many opportunities to make fun of things, and this newfangled internet to spread the word. They would probably end up working at The Onion.

Review of The Parisian Prodigal by Alan Gordon

See listing for The Parisian Prodigal at Powell's Books

See listing for The Parisian Prodigal at

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