30 September 2015

Paris 2015: Léo Malet, Cimetière Châtillon (92)

'LÉO MALET 1909 . 1996'
 
Léo Malet brought a new kind of detective fiction to the market, particularly with his creation Nestor Burma, the private 'detective de choc' who (like the early Malet) was an anarchist (and something of a sexist avant la lettre), and is best known in the series Les Nouveaux Mystères de Paris. The name is a reference to Eugene Sue's Mystères de Paris, and each novel takes place in a different arrondissement of Paris, although as there are only fifteen novels in the series, five arrondissements are missed out.
 
Malet's most well-known novel is probably Brouillard au pont de Tolbiac (1954, part of his Les Nouveaux Mystères de Paris series and set in the 13th arrondissement. Running a close second, though, must be the wonderfully titled Micmac moche au Boul' Mich' (1957).
 
In 1948 Malet was the first writer to win the Grand Prix for detective fiction, and in 1958 he received the Grand Prix for black humour.

(NB. For anyone seeking Léo Malet's grave, it's important not to heed the words one commentor has made on the Sur les pas des Écrivains site: contrary to what the person wrote about Malet's grave being in Division 15, it is in fact in Division 12, knowledge of which could have saved us a lot of time.)

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