The investigations of Mary Lester - Anne Pietrasik

The investigations of Mary Lester
A series of 34 best-selling Breton novels
by Jean Failler
Detective Constable Mary Lester is a typical Breton. She owes to her
navigating ancestors those very traits that so often get her into trouble:
audacity (often qualified of foolhardiness by some) and tenacity (also called
stubbornness by the same unimaginative know-it-alls).
Follow our intrepid Mary in her highly addictive adventures throughout the
mysterious and contrasted region of Brittany and discover just how many sins
the word "deviousness" can cover.
The Investigations of Mary Lester
To date, 34 volumes of Mary Lester's investigations have been published in
France and the number of copies sold (204,000 in 2009, over 2 million since
the first title was launched) speaks for itself.
Each book is set in a different part of Brittany and UK readers should take
pleasure in exploring, or revisiting, this Celtic part of France.
Three Mary Lester investigations have been adapted for
the French television.
Nine have already been translated into Italian.
Two have now been translated into English. The first one
(#8, Mayhem in St Malo) by William Rodarmor, who lives in
Berkely, California. Although he did an excellent job, as
our feedback from UK readers indicated that they would
prefer an English translation to an American one, we
chose a UK native translator for the second English Mary
Lester investigation "Drizzly days in Lanester"
#1: Drizzly Days in Lanester - (Published in June 2007)
Translated from the French by Anne Pietrasik
A tramp drowns in the river Scorff, a supermarket
manager vanishes into thin air, juvenile delinquents go in
for a bit of chainsaw-powered breaking & entering ... for
detective constable Marc Amédéo this is just uneventful
daily routine. Peace and quiet rule in the Lorient police
station ... or did so until Mary Lester starts knitting these
apparently trivial incidents into a full blown multiple
murder case!
#8: Mayhem in St Malo (Published in 2003)
Translated from the French by William Rodarmor
Mary Lester is sent to Saint Malo, the all time City of
corsairs, to investigate the death of the young and
beautiful wife of a local notability 8 months ago. For the
local Chief Superintendent the case is non existent: death
by natural causes, case closed. Mary's instructions are to
just spend a few pleasant days in Saint Malo, pretend to
look up a few leads and corroborate the Chief Super's
conclusions. But that's reckoning without Mary's insight
and natural propensity for getting into trouble! Follow Mary
in this medieval fortress where dark forces are at work.
About the author, Jean Failler
The curriculum of this former fishmonger, now
the celebrated author of the popular "Mary
Lester" detective stories, is somewhat
With a carpenter for father and a laundress
for mother, Jean Failler was not exactly
predestined to become a writer. His childhood
dreams were fed by the seafaring tales of his
grandfather, a remarkable storyteller and
professional fisherman who used to takes him
aboard during the holidays.
An early reader, Jean soon developed a passion for literature but was not
able to fully satisfy his urge to write until his fifties. He did however write as a
hobby and, in his 20 years as a fulltime fishmonger, somehow managed to
write 16 plays (5 staged) and several short stories, children's books and
historical novels before his recurrent heroine, Mary Lester, crept into his life.
After selling his fishmonger's shop, Jean Failler was at last able to devote
himself to his passion and has graced us with a series of 34 mystery novels
where good humour and intrigue are our travelling companions throughout
Brittany, all with that special tangy flavour of sailor-borne irony.
Jean Failler has been awarded quite a few prizes for his
 "Mais poussez donc Léontin" (Prix SACD 1983),
 "Le festin des gueux" (Prix audiovisuel Metz 1984)
 "Monsieur Joseph" won a prize at the Brest festival
and then another at the Dinard festival
 "Friture exotique" (Prix de l'Acte in Metz 1985)
 "Nuit de haine" (Prix de l'Acte in Metz 1988)
 "Authentique histoire de Bélise" (Prix des Écrivains
Bretons 1998).
 His first historical novel "L'ombre du Vétéran" (a
historical novel) was awarded the Prix des Écrivains
Bretons in 1993.
 Two Mary Lester investigations are also prizewinners: "Marée blanche" (Prix des Écrivains Bretons
1994) and "Boucaille sur Douarnenez" (Grand Prix de
la Ville de Rennes 1995 - Prix des Écrivains de
l'Ouest 1995).
About the translators
William Rodarmor, who translated "Mayem in St Malo", is a writer and
French Literary translator in Berkely, California. He is best known for his
translation of famed solo sailor Bernard Moitessier's autobiography, "Tamata
and the Alliance" which won the 1996 Lewis Galantière Award from the
American Translators Association.
Anne Pietrasik:
Like the author's, the curriculum of the translator of "Drizzly days in Lanester"
is rather atypical. Born in London where she grew up until age 10, she now
lives in Brittany and has been a freelance medical translator and interpreter
since 1992. Her past experience includes training and qualifying as a
Registered General Nurse in Farnborough (Kent) and as a Psychomotor
Therapist in Paris, nursing in French and English hospitals, translating 3
nursing books and 2 novels into French plus 3 years of full-time sailing in the
Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean and 7 years of singing on the
streets of Paris!
For all correspondence in English, please contact Anne
mailto:a[email protected]
11, rue des Filets Bleus
29340 Riec sur Bélon
Phone: 33(0)2 98 06 50 63
If you want to brush up your practical French whilst
exploring Brittany and its mysterious and magic heritage,
follow Mary through her highly entertaining
investigations written in simple everyday French:
Click here to access website
1. Les bruines de Lanester (Drizzly days in
2. Les diamants de l'archiduc (Quimper) (The
diamonds of the Archiduke)
3. La mort au bord de l'étang (Cornouaille) (Death
lurks in the marsh)
4. Marée blanche (Concarneau) (The snow tide)
5. Le manoir écarlate (set in the area of
Châteauneuf-du-Faou, notably the Château de
Trévarez) (The scarlet Manor)
6. Boucaille sur Douarnenez
7. L'homme aux doigts bleus (La Baule) (The man with
blue fingers)
8. La cité de Dogues (Saint-Malo) (Mayhem in SaintMalo)
9. On a volé la Belle Étoile (Camaret-sur-Mer) (Who
stole the Belle-Etoile?)
10. Brume sous le grand pont (Saint-Nazaire) (Murky
dealings in Saint Nazaire)
11. Mort d'une rombière (L'Île-Tudy) (Death of an
old bag)
12. Aller simple pour l'enfer (at sea between the
Faroe Islands and Iceland) (A single ticket for
13. Roulette russe (Saint-Quay-Portrieux) (Russian
14. À l'aube du troisième jour (Carhaix, during the
Vieilles Charrues festival) (On the dawn of the
third day)
15. Les gens de la rivière (Along the river Odet)
(Them from the river)
16. La Bougresse (In the central mountainous part of
Brittany called “Les montagnes noires”)
17. La régate du Saint-Phillibert (La Trinité-surMer) (The Saint-Philibert regatta)
18. Le testament Duchien (Huelgoat) (The Duchien
19. L'or du Louvre (The Glenan Islands) (The gold of
the Louvre)
20. Forces noires (Rennes) (Dark forces)
21. Couleur Canari (Nantes) (Canary yellow)
22. Le renard des grèves - Volume 1 (NorthFinistère) (The beach fox)
23. Le renard des grèves - Volume 2 (NorthFinistère) (The beach fox)
24. Les fautes de Lammé-Bouret (Pont-Aven) (Erratum
humanum est?)
25. La variée était en noir (The Brière area) (The
Bride was in black)
26. Rien qu'une histoire d'amour (The ria of the
river Étel) (Just a love story)
27. Ca ira mieux demain (Cap Sizun) (It'll be better
28. Bouboule est mort (Saint Brieuc) (Fatso is dead)
29. Le passager de la Toussaint (Brest) (The AllSaints' Day stowaway)
30. Te souviens-tu de Souliko’o ? - Vol. 1 Bay of
Morlaix (Remember Souliko’o?)
31. Te souviens-tu de Souliko’o ? - Vol. 2 Bay of
Morlaix (Remember Souliko’o?)
32. Sans verser de larmes Bay of Morlaix (No tears
33. Il vous suffira de mourir - Vol. 1 (Lac de
Guerlédan) (Just die, will you!), vol. 1
34. Il vous suffira de mourir - Vol. 2 (Lac de
Guerlédan) (Just die, will you!)
Except for #1 and #8, the English titles are
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