Garlic … books … murder … all in one country: France

I love the smell of garlic.

I love the smell of garlic.

And I love the smell of books. 

I know that murder too has a smell.

The French medium Henry Vignault told me of the horrible smell that had overcome him when the TV network M6 had taken him down into the basement of Dr. Petiot’s townhouse. (You can watch part of Henry’s visit to Dr. Petiot’s basement on the following url –  index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24&Itemid=23 – and if you know me or you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that Dr.Petiot is the subject of my book Die in Paris.)

I believe Henry, because, as I write in my book, the police chief had also spoken of the stench of murder. The police chief had said of his first visit to the basement: ‘My son walked ahead of me, a flashlight in his hand. Its white and trembling beam light up the basement with the two burners, revealing visions of Hell. Here, a partly burnt skull, with the gaping holes of its eye sockets and its aggressive-looking teeth, seemed to have come straight out of Dante’s Inferno; over there, a stiff hand was curled up as if its owner had, at the moment of death, desperately tried to hold onto thin air; there, the torso of a woman, its chest gnawed away to show splinters of bones, which were the ribs; further away, a foot, blackened like a log of wood that had smouldered, without flame; everywhere, strewn around in a shapeless magma, tibias, femurs, bits of arms, jawbones… And over this horrendous charnel house floated the awful smell of charred flesh, a sinister stench of grilled human flesh’.

Fortunately (and with luck) we will go through life without ever having to smell grilled human flesh…

But, this brings me back to garlic and books.

English ex-pat, Keith Eckstein, has a very interesting website/blog A Taste of Garlic. He is singlehandedly undertaking the task of reading and reviewing the websites and blogs of English-speaking ex-pats living in France.   He also has another two websites which are as interesting.

One –  Breton Diary – is about his life in France.

The other site is about books about France. Books in English written by ex-pats.

Keith interviews writers and so he has just interviewed me too, and you will be able to read the interview on  A Taste of Garlic. Don’t be scared, I did not talk too much about murder and not at all about the smell of … but no more of that.


Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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