In my stories, Leduc Detective Agency is based on the Rue du Louvre. This, however, is also the address of perhaps the most famous real-life agency in the city, the similarly named Duluc Detective.
You may recognize the place from a location in the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris.
Leduc Detective is indeed based on the Duluc Detective agency. It came about years ago when I was at the bus stop on Rue du Louvre. Across from me on the street was the wonderful neon thirties sign of Duluc and I’d been interviewing female detectives in Paris and thought why not this agency?
I crossed the street, met Madame Martine Baret who inherited this agency from her father who himself had inherited it from his grandfather who’d started in the Suréte. She was very gracious and told me the history, the cases they work on and much more. Shamelessly, I used the agency as a template for Leduc Detective; Aimée had a grandfather who'd started the agency and went from there. But when the publisher suggested we use another name for legal reasons I agreed.
Martine, whose husband works there also, on October 6 will celebrate 50 - that's cinquante - a big 5 0 years in the investigating business since she inherited Duluc from her father. That's kind of amazing for so many reasons. Yet it shouldn't be. But yes, a young woman who took over a tough business, missing her father at the same time and then continuing his passion as her own, running a tight, highly regarded firm...and taking the jobs she says that only people who have tried every other way come to her. '...a last resort,'...her eyes well as she told me this. 'We are their last hope whether finding a runaway daughter, a son lost in the war, an illegitimate child, a sister one never knew existed.' It's those cases Martine takes.
Félicitations, may your passion inspire us Martine. And look for flowers when I see you in November