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Publication in France:
12 October 2017

464 pages

People found her rather pretty

Michel Bussi

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People found Leyli rather pretty. All smiles and charm.

Leyli Maal works as a cleaning lady in the hotels of Port-de-Bouc just outside Marseille. Of Malian nationality, she is a single mother of three children – Bamby, 21, Alpha, 17, and Tidiane, 10 – who is nurturing a vast dream and concealing a big secret. This mysterious woman will tell her life story to anyone who will listen, but can she ever confess the whole truth? Can she prevent her children from revealing what she has kept a secret? Is it about vengeance? Hidden treasure? A father? Not far from where Leyli is living and spinning her yarns, François Valioni is working for a large NGO which assists migrants. Early one morning he is found murdered in a hotel; in his pocket, there is a colour bracelet and six seashells. Julo Flores, a keen young lieutenant au fait with the all the latest technology, is assigned to the investigation of this curious murder. Distrustful of his superior and a little on the sentimental side, he cannot bring himself to believe that Leyli’s daughter Bamby is the guilty party, despite all the evidence pointing in that direction. His doubts seem to be confirmed when a second crime is committed… Taking place over three nights and four days and ranging from the Sahel desert to the urban jungle of Marseille, this top-drawer thriller from Michel Bussi is, as usual, replete with human interest, emotion and universal appeal, right up to the final, staggering twist.


Michel Bussi is a professor of geopolitics and the second best-selling author in France. His books have been published in translation in 35 countries. On la trouvait plutôt jolie is his 7th book to be published by Presses de la Cité since 2011.

More information in french