The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre. Translated by Stephanie Smee 

Published: 2019 Originally published as La Daronne in 2017 1. First lines 2. Cover: Black Inc. 3. Woman’s face [Public Domain] via Freesvg

Patience Portefeux is a woman struggling to support herself. She has an elderly mother in care and two grown-up daughters. She takes the opportunity to supplement her income by selling hash, acquiring the drug and evading being caught by using her insider knowledge in her job translating tapped phone calls between drug dealers for the police.

I’m not ashamed to admit I was a difficult mother, not at all the nurturing type.

Darkly humorous, this is such an entertaining read – “absolute champagne entertainment.” (Readings)


“I am 53 years old. My hair is long and completely white.”

“To get a job with Mondiale you had to at first done time, because, according to my father, only somebody who had been locked up for at least 15 years could cope with being stuck in a truckie’s cab for thousands of miles, and would defend his cargo with his life.”

Author: Hannelore Cayre


  • Winner, 2019 European Crime Fiction Prize
  • Winner, 2019 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière
  • Winner, 2020 CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger Award


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