Charles Belfoure

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Charles Belfoure
Born (1954-02-19) February 19, 1954 (age 64)[1]
Occupationwriter, architect, historian
Genrehistory, historical fiction

Charles Belfoure (born 19 February 1954) is an American writer, architect and historian.


He is the son of Charles W. Belfoure and Polish immigrant, teacher and writer Kristine Vetulani.[2] He grew up in Woodlawn, the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland and attended to Woodlawn High School.[3] Belfoure graduated from the Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983 and from the Columbia University with a Master of Science in Real Estate Development in 1993.[1] He taught at Pratt and at the Goucher College in Baltimore and has been a freelance writer for The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun. He is a specialist in historic preservation.[4] He published several architectural histories and was a recipient of a Graham Foundation national grant for architectural research.[5] He lives in Westminster, Maryland.

His son Christopher graduated in history from West Virginia University in 2010. He died in 2011 due to a fatal ATV accident. A memorial scholarship – The Christopher Belfoure Chinese Studies Travel Abroad Fund – was established to honor his memory. Charles' second child is daughter Julie.[6][7][8]

The Paris Architect, Belfoure's first novel, was published by Sourcebooks Landmark on October 8, 2013 in the U.S. It follows the story of a French architect Lucien Bernard who's paid to create temporary hiding places for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris.[9] The book received generally positive reviews. Malcolm Gladwell of The Guardian chose The Paris Architect his favourite book of 2013, calling it „a beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war”.[10] Belfoure's debut in fiction was found among finalists of the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award[11] and has hit The New York Times best seller list in an e-book category in July 2015.[12] StudioCanal and The Picture Company acquired the rights to film The Paris Architect. Chris Salmanpour was hired to adapt the script.[13]

Belfoure's second novel, House of Thieves, was published on September 15, 2015. Set in 1886 New York, it's a story of an architect forced to join a criminal gang and plan robberies of the buildings he’s designed to pay off his son’s debts.[14] Publishers Weekly praised the work, pointing that „Belfoure holds together each and every thread of the novel, resulting in a most memorable, evocative read”.[15] Jocelyn McClurg of USA Today gave the book 3 out of 4 stars saying that „channeling Dickens, Belfoure designs a rollicking story but overloads on improbabilities. No matter – it’s a blueprint for great fun”.[16] House of Thieves is to be adapted for television by the Mark Gordon Company. Francis Lawrence was said to direct the series.[17]

Belfoure's third novel, The Fallen Architect, was released on October 9, 2018.[18] Set in 1905, it tells the story of a British architect in the Edwardian era.[19] Publishers Weekly reviewer called it an „exceptional mystery” and summed up: „Belfoure offers the reader glimpses of early motion pictures, variety hall jokes that are still funny, and a description of Edward VII consuming a 10-course meal. This wonderfully realized background coupled with insights into British society make this a standout”.[20] Currently Belfoure is working on his fourth novel about an architect in Imperial Russia under Tsar Nicholas II.

Belfoure uses his architectural background to construct the plot in his novels. He never took any creative writing lessons. He said that he „hesitated writing fiction” but discovered that John Grisham who also never practiced writing has been using his legal background for his fiction works. Belfoure decided to use his own knowledge in the field of architecture in a similar way.[21] Among titles that influenced him most he points Robert Moses' The Power Broker, William Golding's Lord of the Flies and works by Thomas Hardy, including Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge.[21][22][23]



  • The Paris Architect (2013)
  • House of Thieves (2015)
  • The Fallen Architect (2018)
  • Untitled novel about an architect in Imperial Russia (TBA)


  • The Baltimore Rowhouse (with Mary Ellen Hayward, 1997)
  • Monuments to Money: The Architecture of American Banks (2005)
  • Edmund G. Lind: Anglo-American Architect of Baltimore and the South (2009)


  1. ^ a b "The Paris Architect - 101 Amazing Facts You Didn't Know". Gee Whiz Books. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Eve K. Belfoure, 79, survivor of Nazi labor camp, teacher". The Baltimore Sun. 29 March 2004. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Between the Covers with Charles Belfoure". Baltimore County Public Library. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  4. ^ Nate Brown (27 July 2015). "Two Lives". Publishers Weekly: 34–35.
  5. ^ "Charles Belfoure". Goodreads. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Christopher Belfoure". West Virginia University. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Memorial scholarship created in honor of alumnus Christopher Belfoure". West Virginia University. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Christopher R. Belfoure – Obituary". The Hartford Courant. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  9. ^ Jocelyn McClurg (30 October 2013). "New voices: Charles Belfoure and 'The Paris Architect'". USA Today. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Writers and critics on the best books of 2013". The Guardian. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Longlist of the 2015 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award". IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  12. ^ "E-book Fiction Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  13. ^ Borys Kit (20 July 2016). "Studiocanal, The Picture Company Adapting World War Two Thriller 'The Paris Architect' (Exclusive)". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  14. ^ Jocelyn McClurg (13 September 2015). "Books: New and Noteworthy". USA Today. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  15. ^ "House of Thieves Review". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  16. ^ Jocelyn McClurg (22 November 2015). "Fiction roundup: New 'Shopaholic,' Jojo Moyes". USA Today. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  17. ^ Nellie Andreeva (18 September 2015). "Francis Lawrence To Produce & Direct 'Neverwhere' & 'House Of Thieves' Series Projects Financed By Mark Gordon Co". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  18. ^ "The Fallen Architect". Amazon. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Charles Belfoure Interview – Authors Revealed". YouTube. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  20. ^ "The Fallen Architect ". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Author Spotlight: Charles Belfoure". New York City Writers Network. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Riffle Backstory: Q&A with Charles Belfoure, Author of The Paris Architect". Riffle. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Charles Belfoure Author Page". Foyles. Retrieved 25 September 2015.

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