Small-Press Lineup: Le French Book

Mystery Month 2015Some of the biggest crime fiction is perpetrated by some of the smallest players. We’re determined to shine the spotlight on them before they break out and wreak havoc across the whole country. Read them—before they publish again!



Legal Name and Alias:

mugshot-annetragerAnne Trager, aka The Translator, infamous trafficker of French mysteries and thrillers in English


Co-conspirator Fabrice Neuman, aka The French Connection

Amy “Red-line” Richards, translation editor, sometimes known as The Slasher

Jeroen “Bleeding in the Gutter” ten Berge, cover artist

Criminal Record:

It’s a crime of passion. The Translator is known to be obsessed with mysteries and thrillers and has a weakness for France’s unique mixture of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2012, she woke up one morning, compelled to drop everything and bring her vices home by translating mysteries and thrillers by French writers. “Not enough of them are getting across the pond,” she stated. That’s when the international trafficking began—code name: Le French Book.

When interrogated, she confessed. “Those Frenchies have serial killers in Paris, deceit and treachery in the vineyards, and rolling countryside filled with hidden secrets. I’ve even scrounged up wine-sipping freelance spies, intrigue straight out of World War II, and a Freemason cop. That one was a bestseller around the world before we got it into English.”

The operation started off digital-first, but from the start the underground team wanted to expand to cover all formats, and now it has widespread print distribution, thanks to Ingram Publisher Services. In 2014, they smuggled ten titles in and have as many planned for 2015.

The Translator has gone on record saying, “Yes, noir is a French word, but the Frogs do a lot more than that, and we serve all kinds of mystery and thriller readers. You like a cozy, we’ve got a whole series of French cozies for you. Same goes for procedurals, suspense, espionage by a real spook, and esoteric action thrillers. If you’re looking for a fix of gourmet sleuthing, art world intrigue, and even some classic noir with a modern twist set in Africa, we’ve got a whole range of international mysteries and thrillers to keep readers intrigued.”

Previous Offenses:

The_Paris_LawyerShadow Ritual, by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne (2015)

The Morgenstern Project: A Consortium Thriller, by David Khara (2015)

Cognac Conspiracies: A Winemaker Detective Mystery, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen (2015)

The City of Blood: A Paris Homicide Mystery, by Frédérique Molay (2015)

The Paris Lawyer, by Sylvie Granotier (2012/2014)

The Greenland Breach, by Bernard Besson (2013/2014)

MayhemInMargauxCurrently Plotting:

Mayhem in Margaux: A Winemaker Detective Mystery, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen (May 2015)

The Collector, by Anne-Laure Thiéblemont (August 2015)

White Leopard, by Laurent Guillaume (November 2015)





About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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