candice renoir, detective

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the tv series & more

(no English version of the tv series available so far!)

‘One, two …’

Candice (again and again)

Mother with 4 children, single … 

Candice is in her early 40s, divorced with 4 children (daughter Emma (15), son Jules (13) and twins Martin and Léo (8)). As the years go by – i.e. the seasons – the children age, as does the mother, by 7-8 years by now. Candice thus gradually experiences all her children in teenage madness and with their first heartbreak.

Jules wants to be a chef and is passionate about cooking, which Candice finds quite good. The twins play twin games at school and sometimes drive Candice to despair. Her daughter is growing up and is interested in boys … and older men – and wants to start a career as actress. And of course the family grows: an orphaned dog is taken in!

Candice lives with her children in a very nice house. She takes care of the children and the school, the household … but she is not a perfect housewife. She still has an au pair girl at first; there are obviously no financial problems.

The new home is in the south of France … just moved here from Singapore – with bag and baggage and the children. She had taken a 10-year sabbatical because of the children, while her husband had a career and travelled internationally – in the USA, in Singapore … But now after the divorce, she is back in France – and in the south (where she didn’t live before, because she is from the north of France).

There is also the ex-husband (divorce after adultery … a bit old-fashioned!). He lives very close to Candice, then later moves on to a house with a swimming pool when he has a new girlfriend. (The children are thrilled – by the pool!) Eventually he even remarries …

In Candice’s life there are also several new men … one after the other!

Candice is damn good looking, has curves and is a real woman. First her neighbour falls in love with her and vice versa. Then she has an affair with a colleague. Then there’s the ongoing non-relationship between one of her co-workers, who loves her but won’t admit it, and her, who loves him but won’t admit it.

This relationship eventually runs through the whole series: Candice and Antoine cannot come to each other – e.g. because each marries and separates again … and in between they are together briefly. Antoine becomes a father and has a bad accident … Then they are together, but …

I wondered whether this was a crime novel or a family saga … But the thriller is dominating. I have inhaled the seasons in binge-watching mode: Candice’s love life is always turbulent and provides comedy and entertainment. She also has a soft spot for the colour pink. She always wears something in pink: whether it’s her purse, her spectacle case, an umbrella, a scarf, shoes … And Candice is blonde. Somehow it all contrasts with her job in the homicide department and the milieu in which she investigates!

Candice works for the police. After the separation and the end of her time out, she has to find a way back in. She finds it hard …

On the first day, she squeezes into her old uniform (she has gained a few kilos!). She mistakenly assumes that she is supposed to attend a reception. (The reception has been cancelled at short notice, which she was not informed about by her supervisor!). So Candice has squeezed into her uniform. Her skirt bursts open. She wraps her uniform jacket around her hips. Her high heels are out of place on the sandy beach where the murder victim is waiting. She just takes them off. She is a laughing stock. Correction: she seems to be a laughing stock, because …

Candice shows everyone that she is anything but the blonde from the blonde joke. She investigates carefully and intuitively – sometimes a little too intuitively … but always with success. Maybe it’s because many (colleagues, suspects) don’t take the curvy blonde with the accessories in pink quite seriously.

I already mentioned her boss: an ice-cold career woman who wants Candice only reluctantly. But she has no choice – though she does put a few stumbling blocks in her way every now and then. Incidentally, the boss later becomes pregnant – everyone puzzles over who the father could be – and leaves the department. Candice has to replace her afterwards (sort of deputyship): the administrative work is a nightmare for her. As a rule she likes to postpone anything out of this sector.

Candice also gets a team. Not everyone in the team is happy with Candice: there is Antoine (the later non-relationship!), who would have liked to become boss himself. (… and at some point in the later seasons he also becomes Monsieur le Commissaire and the boss of the team and of Candice …). He comes from a wealthy family that would have preferred him to be a lawyer – in line with family tradition – rather than a policeman. There are young female colleagues with their own private problems. The team colleague with a migration background is not missing – nor is the computer freak. There is always some fluctuation in the team … Employees leave and others join.

Candice has her hands full keeping her team together and raising them to be an effective work team. It takes a long time before she is respected. But she always finds comfort with the forensic technician Pascale – also single – and later with the pathologist Nathalie when they talk and have a drink together.

Her cases tend to take place in the middle class and in the socially weak milieu. It’s about narcotics, people smuggling, illegal employment … Blackmail, kidnapping, prostitution … Fraud, embezzlement, robbery … rape … robbery … and always eventually there is a death (or several), victims, collateral damage … At first I wanted to use a beautiful photo of a southern French beach as a hook, then I decided on the harbour district: Candice’s cases have their home here rather than on board of luxury yachts.

What is the series based on?
A blonde with curves who, contrary to expectations, is intelligent, can think and solve cases. She somehow manages everything despite her gruelling everyday life with four children, ex-husband, mother and various lovers (“One, two…!”). There are scenes that amuse us – family debacles, everyday office life, perfidious colleagues who fall flat on their faces. But there are also extremely brutal scenes that are part of the job as a commandant in the homicide department … And Candice sometimes sails close to the wind resulting in stress with supervision and prosecution.

Anything else?
Yes – something to relax and unwind after the stress of everyday life!

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare