Andre was born and raised in Paris, France. Ever since he was a kid, he has been an ardent admirer of the fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot invented by the detective novelist, Agatha Christie. Even though Andre is extremely proud to be French, he is actually half Belgian on his mother’s side. This way, he think he is better able to relate to Poirot who coincidentally, is Belgian. Like Poirot, Andre is a perfectionist who takes great care to look very neat and professional. After every meal, Andre brushes and flosses his teeth and shines his shoes. Reading about Poirot inspired Andre to choose a career in law enforcement. Eventually, he managed to work his way up to be a police detective in the French Gendarmerie Nationale in Paris.
He takes his job personally. He regrets that one-time he let one criminal get away, who was his own estranged grandfather. Andre’s grandfather, Anatole, worked as a master diamond-cutter in Antwerp’s Diamond District. As a supervisor, he embezzled small diamonds from the factory where he worked. One day, Andre’s grandmother, Lucienne, discovered the stolen diamonds hidden in a chest in their closet. According to Anatole, the chest was for his private “rock collection” of unusual mineral stones he would pick up in his prior career traveling the world as a geologist. Lucienne did was she thought was the right thing when she asked Anatole to return the diamonds to the police and turn himself in. Instead, Anatole killed her and disappeared with the diamonds. Anatole’s malicious betrayal has caused a lot of pain for Andre and his family. Since he was four years old, Andre has vowed to track down his grandfather and bring him to justice for his grandmother’s murder and theft of the diamonds. After many long years of searching, Andre found out that his grandfather lived in a mansion in Vevey, Switzerland. Just before Andre and the Police Cantonale arrived at the residence, Anatole dropped dead of a heart-attack. Andre knows that Anatole was greedy and malicious, but there is one he will never understand how a diamond can be worth more to somebody than a human life.
While Andre started his career investigating burglaries and murders, he eventually switched over to solving white-collar crimes. According to Andre, the secret to solving any murder and finding the perpetrator is finding the money. He especially enjoys solving more sophisticated crimes such as securities fraud, embezzlement, counterfeiting, and money-laundering. He says the motivation behind all crime is money except the difference between “white-collar crime” and non-white collar crime is that in white-collar crime the money is usually “bigger.” Over time, Andre has solved many white-collar crimes crimes and gained a reputation as a fearless fraud fighter.
Despite the serious nature of his job, Andre does have a sense of humor. Whenever tourists in Paris try to speak to him in English, he initially pretends that he only speaks French before gradually switching over to English. He thinks that is really funny. He also likes to visit many of the criminals that he imprisoned to give them a “hard time” and “talk about the good old days.” He says he does this because he thinks the only people that truly care about crime are the cops, victims, and criminals.
Andre is serious about taking at least one month of vacation in order to take a break from the criminal world. He likes to relax in his small cottage, which is located just outside of Cannes on the French Riviera. He uses this time to bring Hercule Poirot back to life in the 21st century and write about the many financial crimes he would solve in modern day France. Occasionally, he leaves the Riviera behind and travels throughout the world, usually on assignments and conferences.
Whenever he is out of the country, he still tries to eat “so called” authentic French cuisine restaurants, just so he can write restaurant reviews explaining why he doesn’t think the food was French enough. He also enjoys tasting Champagne and trying different French desserts. Even though he tries to exercise, he just can’t help himself away from custard-filled croissants, créme brulée, strawberry crépes, pear tarts, lemon moussé, and chocolate filled souflées. Andre loves to listen to French music. For the most part he likes to listen to what he considers “oldie hits” by Ottawan, Joe Dassin, and Mireille Mathieu. On occasion, he will listen to something more modern by In-grid Albertini and Kareen Antonn. He brushes off what he considers to be “non-French” music, but he does have a soft spot in his heart for Celine Dion, who is French-Canadian. Andre will admit that Celine is more Canadian than she is French. That will not prevent him from loving her music because “she is his lady” and “that’s just the way it is.”
Dre was born and raised in the part of Chicago, Illinois, he calls “da hood.” Since the time he was born, he has lived with his “mama” and her two cats called “sistahs” in their tiny apartment. He is laid-back most of the time, but he says he gets nervous whenever his mama threatens to open up a can of “whoop ass” when she thinks he gets out of line. The only thing that is worse than getting smacked by his mama is when his mama counts to three. If she says three, it means she will stop cooking for Dre until he settles down and starts acting like a normal son. When he was in high school, Dre started his own boy-band called the “7 digits.” He turned out to be the first and only member of the group. According to Dre, he was just a “single digit.” That didn’t stop him from creating “chart-topping” albums like “Let’s Get Digital” or “Girl, Don’t You Forget my Digits.” Dre believes that his music and lyrics combined and captured the best elements of the Backstreet Boys, Emniem, and Vanilla Ice.
He is a big fan of all professional Chicago sports except hockey. He “just doesn’t get it.” He says the only time he would watch hockey is if all the hockey players wore the mascot’s costume while skating on ice to different rap songs. Dre never jokes about football and basketball. He says these are his favorite sports, and not just because they have the “best-looking cheerleaders.” He is a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan, and he fondly remembers the glory days when the Mikes were in town – Mike Ditka and Michael Jordan. One thing he will never understand is why MJ put his basketball career on hold and went to play for the White Sox instead of the Cubs. Dre is a bleeding Cubs fan for life. He will never stop pulling for the Cubbies at the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field no matter how bad they lose. He always keeps telling himself that next year they are going to come back and win the “World Series.”
Dre considers himself a “playa.” He claims that he works hard to “maintain his reputation.” In reality, he has never had a girlfriend, kissed a girl, or even been on a date in his life. When he was in college, Dre was a member of various student clubs just so he could meet the girl of his dreams. He was a registered member of the International Students Association (ISA), Chinese Students Association (CSA), Hispanic Students Association (HSA), Japanese Students Associaton (JSA), Black Student Association (BSA), and the Russian Student Association (RSA). He had also visited the Baptist Student Fellowship (BSF), Catholic Student Society (CSS), and even Muslim Student Association (MSA) just to meet beautiful girls. He joined the Feminist Student Association (FSA) to say that he really cared about women’s rights, but he didn’t last their very long. Dre never asked that many girls out, but when he did he was rejected. Most of the time, he was too shy to even tell a girl he truly cared about that he liked her.
Unsuccessfully, Dre also tried to find a girlfriend through on-line dating. For almost two decades, he had spent much of his free time trying to find love on-line. On-line dating seemed like the perfect solution for him. He thought he could date any girl he wanted if he found her. He tried various web-sites including E-harmony, Match, ChristianMingle, Zoosk, PlentyofFish, OkCupid, and even latin-cupid.com. Altogether, he had spent thousands of dollars for membership dues and special fees that supposedly increased his “status.” He had contacted, favorited, winked, and smiled at thousands of beautiful girls. He had even sent friend requests to beautiful girls he had never met before on Facebook, and he has liked thousands of their photos. Unfortunately, not even one of them liked something back. Sometimes, he would spend hours writing long letters where he poured his heart out and shared his life story to girls he’d never met before. He has even volunteered to be a pet-sitter for free for girls who have cats and dogs on their profile. He had never even received a single response in his life on any on-line dating web-site.
Gradually, Dre has shifted his passion from one-sided on-line dating to healthy living. He also decided to try to a healthy diet. That means quitting eating pizza, burgers, trans-fats, and even alcohol. Last year, He also decided to lose weight and start running. Over six months, he worked his way up from walking one mile to running a half- marathon. Over the next year, he lost 40 pounds by eating less and working out. In order to stay motivated, Dre listens to his rap music. He has also joined a running group that meets every weekend, where he interacts with fellow runners and shares their stories. He works out on a daily basis, and he has put between 30 miles and 40 miles in each week before big races to improve his pace. Over one year he improved his half-marathon time from 2 hours and 10 minutes to just 1 hour and 38 minutes. Next year, he hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Running has also helped Dre focus on getting his career back on track. He now works in a local office of a national on-line brokerage company. His motto is to help folks invest their money the right way by making sure they “stay out of trouble.” Occasionally, Dre likes to reminisce of his days as a rapper. He things that his rap background empowers him to relate better to some of his investment clients. After all, “too much television watching got him chasing dreams and even his mama thinks his mind is gone.” He considers himself to be “an educated fool with his mind on his money and his money on his mind.” He still likes to parody different songs such as his recent song called, “My Stock… Yo Stock..” He also says the secret to his success is “10% luck, 15% skill, 20% concentrated will, 30% research, 15% pain, and 10% is his love for the game.” As a single guy who’ seen at all, Dre realizes that there are a lot of really beautiful girls out there. On the other hand, he knows that there are even better looking stocks! That’s why he focuses his attention on stocks that are really hot right now.