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At a glance...

AGRAKAL Editions is a French publishing house specializing in cozy crime novels. Originally established in Tunis by its founder, it is now represented by EA Pro Nantes, a press relations firm, in all French-speaking European territories and French-speaking Canada.


AGRAKAL Editions' mission is to promote cozy crime fiction throughout French-speaking countries, and to encourage young French-speaking authors to take up writing such novels.


What is cosy detective literature?


Cosy mystery is a genre that has been enjoying a second breath in recent years, thanks to M.C. Beaton and Julia Chapman. Its first breath of life was given by the Queen of cosy crime, who didn't even know it: Agatha Christie and her indispensable detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.


A murder serves as a pretext for investigations by amateur detectives, far from the Police Departments, most often women, in a rural setting or small community, endearing and funny characters who become recurrent over the course of episodes: these are the basic rules of cosy crime! 

A cosy mystery is a novel without scenes of violence, far from bloodbaths and scary serial killers. Their setting is always reassuring, even warm, bathed in British ambiance, but not only...  French mystery writers also adhere to the cosy style, highlighting their region, Brittany for example. These books are best read by the fireside, with a cup of tea, or on vacation, on an almost deserted beach, far from the hustle and bustle...




In the quiet Cornish village of Brandys Bay, Rosemary Bartell is enjoying a well-earned retirement in her cottage, where she has just returned for the first time since the death of her husband Howard.


Her peace is short-lived, however, when the nearly octogenarian Reverend Lewis Ashley is found stabbed to death in the rectory... Hours later, when Lord Duncan is also stabbed to death, the village is thrown into panic.

Rosemary Bartell, a complete novice in police investigations, decides to help Detective Sergeant Lomar, who is a little overwhelmed by the events... A return to an unknown past, lulled by the verses of a nursery rhyme, where Rosemary discovers secrets buried by her own late husband... A phrase by George Eliot will haunt her nights: "The mighty hand of nemesis is invisible, but the victim staggers under its terrible grip!"

 If you like English villages and cups of tea, you're in for a treat!

After weeks of bloody, disturbing murders in Brandys Bay, Cornwall, Rosemary Bartell and her friend Darlene Randwick set off for Tunisia to follow in the footsteps of her late husband, the painter Howard Bartell, a great admirer of the North African landscape.

Unfortunately, the trip soon turns into a nightmare for Rosemary Bartell, who has unwittingly opened a disturbing Pandora's box of threats and crimes, as individuals are prepared to do anything to make her disappear.

In a Carthaginian setting full of mythology, ancient peoples, Punic customs and unfamiliar languages, Rosemary Bartell is about to embark on a difficult investigation that will take her back to a past full of shadows, only to be thrown into a terrifying present where death surrounds her on all sides...

Good luck to Rosemary Bartell!

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International Press

"Double nœud 1 - Les Meurtres de Brandys Bay, a novel like we love them, half Agatha Christie, half Vargas... A crime novel in the finest tradition, Double noeud 1 has it all".
Alya Hamza, La Presse de Tunisie

"A novel of atmosphere and suspense... The mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the end, and although you may feel that you have understood everything, you can't be sure of anything and can't predict the end, as in an adventure by Agatha Christie or Hercule Poirot, whose influence on the author is palpable".
Florence Pescher, Journalist and Proofreader

"Double noeud 2 is a detective story, full of murders and bad people, but it's also a fascinating look back at Tunis in 1924, when Erich shows us places that have often disappeared, not only in the capital but also in Carthage...".
Isabelle Esnaut, Le Petit Journal

"Double nœud 2- Les Secrets de Carthage combines all the ingredients that make you addicts of crime novels: a setting that is familiar in space, but far enough away in time to allow for fantasy and imagination. Seductive characters, revealing shadows and veils of mystery. A heroine worthy of Agatha Christie, Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes in petticoats. A plunge into a mythical past through a cult devoted to gods who are part of our ancient history".
Alya Hamza, La Presse de Tunisie



"If you enjoy the anguish of a series of events surrounding a crime, or even several crimes, and are looking to relive the Tunis of the 1920s, of the last century, then Erich Alauzen's latest crime novel, Double nœud 2- Les Secrets de Carthage, is the book for you... Places, most of which have disappeared with time and social and urban change, are described in fascinating detail by the author. What's more, a part of our Punic past is retraced through the involvement of an evil sect in this murder story...".

Jamel Bergaoui, Le Temps de Tunisie

from French speaking Readers


Reminiscent of Agatha Christie's style, which I think is better than Sophie Hannah's! Sophie Hannah resurrected Hercule Poirot, much to the sadness of Hercule Poirot fans who preferred to see him dead and buried by his literary mother, Dame Agatha Christie... I've just discovered by chance an unknown author, but whose style, for me, is more inspired by the Queen of Crime than Sophie Hannah. I'm talking about the Double Noeud dyptic 1- The Brandys Bay Murders and 2- The Secrets of Carthage . The only difference is that Erich's descriptions are much richer, and he pays much more attention to detail (perhaps a little too much at times!). But the atmosphere, the period (the Roaring Twenties), the well-drawn British characters, the locations (manor houses, old English villages) and the social circles (upper middle class/aristocracy) are very reminiscent of the old-fashioned atmosphere of Agatha Christie...

The second (Les Secrets de Carthage) is more adventurous in style, but takes us to Carthage in Tunisia in 1924... Very fine descriptions of a colonised Tunis, despite a start that I felt was a little too slow... However, I spent some very pleasant hours in the company of this author's characters, and we like Rosemary Bartell, another Miss Marple who is more modern and lives more in tune with the times, far removed from the Victorian era. We now talk about cosy mysteries, and that's exactly what they are! I found them by chance in Tunisia, where the author seems to live (he's a French-Australian) and where the books are sold at very reasonable prices compared with those on Amazon. Although the books may lack the Agathachristian touch in their interwoven plots, they are still highly recommendable... Happy reading!


I've just reread this first part and enjoyed it just as much as my first read, even more so because I was more attentive to the author's meticulous descriptions. Highly recommended!
Andrea Brinet,

If you like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, as well as British atmospheres and tea parties, this book is for you.
Dorothée Laurent,

A more adventurous sequel than volume 1, but just as appealing... The same characters come face to face with an unsympathetic cult... I really enjoyed Erich Alauzen's style, with its humorous and often snide jabs at his characters.
Fred Assaadi,

I love this novel and there really are two knots!
Rahma Mrk,

I agree with you, Joseph... This book is fabulous and should be translated into English.... It's sure to please... Why aren't more people talking about it? Publisher ???
Mark Stutton,

Fabulous book that takes us back into the Christian atmosphere of our beloved Queen of Crime... I loved the precision of the details, which help to recreate an old-fashioned, old-fashioned atmosphere... Agatha Christie didn't go into such detail in her novels... This is a true crime novel that can be enjoyed by the fireside on a cold, stormy day... I can't wait for the second volume. Well done to Erich Alauzen, I saw on Google that he lived in Tunisia, but it's a shame he's not better known...

Well done to Lulu for publishing such good novels. I loved Double Noeud!
Eric Loubet,

Well done to Erich Alauzen for this crime novel, a far cry from the thrillers that are so fashionable these days. Well written, without any vulgarity, it revives the tradition of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers. The British atmosphere is well portrayed, and the author was undoubtedly inspired by Agatha Christie. Frankly, after reading the first novel by the British woman who reuses the character of Hercule Poirot (the famous Sophie Hannah), whose first book I hated, I much prefer this unknown author. I think he would have no problem continuing to write the adventures of Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple... Incidentally, Rosemary Bartell is a bit like Miss Marple, only younger and more restless... Well done to this author and thanks to Lulu for publishing such wonderful stories... I've just read that the author is releasing the sequel soon, I'll be happy to buy it on lulu or amazon.
Jules Robert,

I had a great time reading this true detective story worthy of Queen Agatha! I enjoyed every moment and was transported into the world of the Roaring Twenties... I lent this book several times, I bought it in Tunisia, I think the author lives there and everyone enjoyed it. When can we expect the sequel? It says 1, where is 2?
Patrick Beauchêne,

Thank you, Stewart, for lending me this book... It's been a long time since I've read such a delightful detective story... As you said, it has an Agatha Christie feel, but it's still different... Exactly, you don't want to read Christie again, but you read Alauzen, who retains the same subtlety and above all knows how to depict those British atmospheres that are so pleasant... What's more, I know St Ives in Cornwall well and it was a pleasure to be transported to this beautiful part of the world, but a hundred years earlier! All well and good for this first novel, so let's wait for the sequel... Thanks to Lulu for publishing such writers!
Birgitta Barry,

Magnificent work, the detective novel that can't be left on the shelf of a library once you've started reading it... You feel like you're back in an Agahta Christie novel, with that very English atmosphere... I hope the book is translated into my mother tongue, as it will be a great success on the other side of the Channel. Congratulations, Erich...
Stewart Connors,

A book I discovered through a friend who bought it on Amazon... Without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in recent years, and I'm talking about a crime novel! I stayed up all night devouring it... The atmosphere, the accuracy of the characters, the author's light-hearted mockery of her heroine, Rosemary Bartell, the full-on British atmosphere, the Roaring Twenties - it all adds up to a great time! I've seen 1, there must be a 2 and I hope to see it in bookshops or on Amazon soon... I hope this still unknown author will soon invade the bestseller charts!
Carine Belmaste,


Well done, Erich! You've brought me back to the good old novels of the sadly deceased Agatha Christie... Excellent, spellbinding descriptions, I really enjoyed it and will be recommending it highly... My first volume of Double Noeud has already been lent out five times since I got it.
Martha Schlossberg,

Excellent... Really different style, I must say I don't really like the vulgar and violent thriller style... There are murders in Double Noeud and blood because they are committed with knives, but everything is done with elegance and British calm! A really good crime book that I recommend to Lulu readers!
Lisa Bretonnie,

A well-constructed and well-written book that keeps you hooked from the very first pages... I recommend it and look forward to the sequel. An author we'd like to know more about.
Pierre de L,

A very positive review of this Double Knot, which had me hooked from the very first pages... As a fan of Agatha Christie, I found in Rosemary Bartell, the novel's heroine, a bit of Miss Marple, but more modern and less Victorian... The village of Brandys Bay is as unsettling as you could wish for, and the murders are an original plot twist... Erich Alauzen, unknown in the crime fiction writers' charts, has got it right, and I hope and wish that he will soon become a successful author... He deserves it!
Melissa Khiari,

Hello. I read Double noeud à Monastir by chance when I was on holiday in Tunisia, as the book was published there... It was on sale in the hotel shop and I was attracted by its cover and summary... I devoured it in one night and one day, so much did I love the very British atmosphere that I adore... The weather is grey and misty, and the whole book is disturbing but also a pleasure to read. Frankly, there's some Agatha Christie in this novel, at least in the atmosphere and mood, as I find Erich Alauzen's characters more "polished"... Agatha Christie never described her characters too much. I also liked the underlying atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties in these very sophisticated London circles... I can't wait to read the rest of this novel... For a first novel, I say well done, and I think this is a bestseller when the book becomes better known in France. 
Joseph Wines,

I really enjoyed this story, which allowed me to escape into an era that was both impressive and mysterious. It's a fascinating journey into an England barely out of the Victorian era, where freedom took on its full meaning during the Roaring Twenties. This novel gently draws us into a story full of suspense where the intrigue lasts right to the end. Congratulations on this first novel, and I look forward to reading more of Erich's work in the future. I highly recommend it!

A novel of atmosphere and suspense... the mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the end, and although you may feel that you have understood everything, you can't be sure of anything and can't predict the end, like in an Agatha Christie adventure, or a Hercule Poirot adventure, which you can feel have greatly influenced the author. The portrayal of English high society is particularly well done, and you feel transported... the cup of tea, the rain and the gusts of wind, the grey English sky... the uptight bigots, the eccentric old women, it's all there. The psychology of the characters is well worked out... in short, a novel to be savoured like one of those famous English toffee cakes accompanied by an earl grey tea and a roaring fire... a change of scenery guaranteed.
Florence Pescher,

Super! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It's absolutely wonderful and a pleasure to read. There's suspense all the way to the end, it's great and with all the details and descriptions you really get to live with the characters. In sort, I loved it and I highly recommend this novel. Once again, a huge BRAVO to Erich for his work. I'm already looking forward to part 2 ;-)

Enjoyable reading, Double Knot 2: I literally devoured this book, very well written in the tradition of Agatha Christie. I enjoyed meeting up with the characters from the first book, Double Knot, the Brandys Bay murders, and this book was in Kindle format, which is a shame as the second is in hard copy.
Pernot, Amazon

I have just finished this book, Double Knot 1, in its 2012 edition. I found the plot well-crafted but the constant use of the imperfect tense instead of the past tense was very disconcerting. Even though the author writes in French, it can't be a translation error. In any case, this use of the imperfect tense, which I think is grammatically incorrect, disturbed my reading.
LcomLiege, Amazon

Note Agrakal: the use of the present perfect was reactivated in the second printing.


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