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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
French Letters/Bouchet, Bruno/Paper/0733619304/S055-D2
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the olive grove … Peter Noirelle thinks he has life sussed. A trend-spotter in New York, his work’s as easy as it gets. A nice home, a girlfriend who enjoys sex while she’s asleep, and a brother in London dedicated to good works and seeing the best in people.
Peter swears he has not given the father who vanished 25 years ago a second thought, until a letter arrives from St Anastasie-sur-Issole. The letter, from his father, urges Peter and his brother, Didier, to visit him to find out about their past.
Arriving in Marseille, Peter and Didier are plunged into the bizarre world of their father and his Greek wife, Kiki. They have concocted a scheme to persuade visiting Australian celebrity chef Alex Beacham that St Anastasie is a hidden enclave of a Greek community that has maintained its heritage for the last 2000 years—a heritage involving such delicious culinary delights as Lavender Moussaka, Dolmades Escargot, Fetta Fondue and a throat-ripping ouzo made from cheap brandy and aniseed balls.
The highlight of the scam is to be the Greque-en-Provence fete to be held in the town. Alex Beacham cannot believe her luck: just when the Olive Oil lit looks like it might have peaked, here’s a new twist that could launch her in the USA.
Bruno Bouchet is a writer of horribly mixed European descent who lives and works in Sydney. His internationally published comic novels are part of a sinister strategy to bring plot, hilarity and entertainment back to the forefront of literature (that’s literature with a small l, he ain’t gunning for any awards).