Heather Jeffries is a major in French and in English, and she loves books and she loves mysteries. From the start she noticed that a lot of the books in stores around here are by Georges Simenon -- the Agatha Christy of the French-speaking world. She also noticed posters all around town announcing events for the "Festival Simenon". This case clearly needed further investigation. As you've guessed Simenon is the most widely read mystery writer in the French language, and he has been translated into all other major languages as well. Unlike the visibly clever Hercule Poireau, his hero's name is Inspector Maigret and Maigret always looks confused and mistaken -- that's how he works and it always throws off the criminal he's after. Now one thing in common: Poireau is from Belgium and so is Simenon! What's the connection with Vendée? No mystery at all -- Simenon spent five years in Vendée and lived for one year in Les Sables. Many of his books take place right here, and two of his most fervent readers are here today. Heather has interviewed Messieurs Jean Rousseau and Didier Gallot, the current organizers of the Simenon festival. That festival takes place in the streets, halls, and parks of Les Sables and brings together art, music, literary conferences, film, and spectacles of all sorts. The goal is to make a living link between life today and the times of Maigret -- the '30's, 40's and 50's. There's also a major literary prize accorded each year, and an added bonus is the delegation of Simeon readers from Belgium who come here for every festival. Thanks, Heather. That's what I call good police work!
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This page last updated on 2005-06-29 6:12:36 AM.