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The Godmother


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About the Author

Hannelore Cayre is an award-winning French novelist, screenwriter, and director, and a practicing criminal lawyer. Her works include Legal Aid, Masterpieces, and Like It Is in the Movies. She has directed several short films and the adaptation of Commis d'office (Legal Aid) is her first feature-length film. Cayre lives in Paris. After working as a lawyer in Sydney and London, Stephanie Smee made her literary translation debut with an English translation of the Countess de Segur's Fleurville Trilogy.


"Exuberant . . . Maybe crime doesn't pay, but the guile and guts -- and humour -- with which Patience approaches this extreme solution to her desperate situation, right under the noses of law enforcement, is admirable, as are her survival instincts. Readers will be anxious about the fate of the forthright, sympathetic Patience up to the final page. It's no surprise that this novel won the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, France's most prestigious award for crime fiction." --
Publishers Weekly
STARRED review"The Godmother is witty, pithy and distinctively French with an emphasis on character development rather than action although there's no shortage of that, either . . . Cayre is a first-rate novelist and she doesn't waste a word in this excellent short novel with dealers, traffickers, cops and quirky Frenchmen all getting their time on the page. Compliments are also due to translator Stephanie Smee who keeps the pace going and seems to get the rhythm of the language in the original." -- The Globe and Mail"Cayre is droll and without illusions about human nature. That she describes the lives and crimes of the petty drug dealers without social-working them is bracing. And she plots so cunningly she might have written the entire French TV series Spiral, or a compact version of The Wire." -- The Monthly"This book is exuberant and understated all at once; an almost stream-of-consciousness calamity of French darkness and humour, it follows a woman with more practicality than passion who sees the world in myriad fascinating ways. It's thrilling to read a crime novel from the point of view of the Bad Guy (and without the usual prologues and asides of a predator's grim thoughts) . . . Translated with spunk by Stephanie Smee, this is absolute champagne entertainment." -- Readings bookstore"The Godmother was sassy and fun and from the first page I was immediately smitten with our narrator, the Widow Portefeux . . . The pacing in The Godmother was excellent and the overall length of the novel was perfect, leaving me more than satisfied but wanting more. The translation by Smee was flawless and smooth. Cayre's writing was wickedly funny and I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times." -- Crazy Book Lady Reviews blog

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