A Mystery Café in Aix-en-Provence
by M. L. Longworth
Our local Anglo bookstore in Aix, Book’in Bar, called me the other day to come in and sign a few copies of my books for a fan who was visiting from the U.S. I didn’t get to meet the fan, but she left me a note saying that she and her daughter and granddaughter had had fun exploring Aix, trying to find some of the spots highlighted in my Verlaque and Bonnet mystery books. They found most of them, but not the Mazarin Café, Marine and Antoine’s meeting place.
The café exists but it isn’t called the Mazarin. I gave the café a fictional name at the last minute; I’m not sure why…perhaps because I had read about an English author being sued by a Parisian textile shop for mentioning their store in her book (and apparently she said great things about the shop, too!).
So, there is no Café Mazarin in Aix…but it is in fact this charming café, pictured below, on the Cours Mirabeau.
My favorite time of the day to go to the café is in the early morning. Their coffee is so-so, but they have fresh-squeezed orange juice and the extra-buttery croissants come from Aix’s best bakery almost across the street. I call it ‘Michaud’ in my books, but that’s not its real name…