Andre from Paris

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.

poirotHercule Poirot

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.

diamondWhile 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.

white-collar-criminal-gun-23459700
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.

cottageAndre’s Cottage

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.”

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