Michel Bussi

Michel Bussi (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl bysi]; born (1965-04-29)29 April 1965) is a French author, known for writing thriller novels, and a political analyst and Professor of Geography at the University of Rouen,[1] where he leads a Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment (French: Unité mixte de recherche, "UMR") in the French National Centre for Scientific Research (French: Centre national de la recherche scientifique, "CNRS"), where he is a specialist in electoral geography.

Michel Bussi
Michel Bussi at Salon du Livre de Paris
Michel Bussi at Salon du Livre de Paris
Born (1965-04-29) 29 April 1965 (age 56)
Louviers, Normandy, France
OccupationProfessor of Geography
GenreDetective novels
Notable worksUn avion sans elle

According to the Le Figaro/GfK list of bestsellers, Bussi was the second bestselling French author of 2018, selling 975,800 copies.[2] He has appeared in the annual top 10 since 2013.


Bussi was born on 29 April 1965 in Louviers, Eure.

Bussi usually publishes a book a year, but they can take several years to become popular. For example, Mourir sur Seine (2008) and Nymphéas Noirs (2011) had only modest initial success, but paperwork editions, serialisations and above all his most popular work Un avion Sans Elle have propelled him into the limelight.[3]

Most of his novels are set in Normandy. His local topicality, together with his teaching and research in Normandy, won him the title of Parrain Officiel (official sponsor) during the 2014 Normandy Festival, a regional festival celebrated throughout Normandy and beyond.[4]

In 2013, Bussi was eighth in the Le Figaro/GfK list of bestsellers[5] [6]


In the early 1990s he wrote his first novel, a thriller set around the Normandy landings, which was rejected by several publishing houses.[7] He then wrote short stories, but they too were rejected. Ten years later, inspired by a trip to Rome at the peak of popularity of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and after reading Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc, Bussi returned to Rouen with his IGN papers and resumed work on his manuscript until in 2006, as Code Lupin, it found an academic publisher, Éditions des Falaises.[7][8] The first manuscript was reworked nine times.

Bussi's first novel, Code Lupin, sold more than 7,000 copies, and in 2010 was serialised over thirty days by the Paris Normandie daily newspaper. In 2007, his second novel, Omaha Crimes, won the French: Prix Sang d'Encre ("Blood Writing Prize") of the town of Vienne, Isère, the 2008 prize for first detective novel at Lens, Pas-de-Calais, the 2008 schools writing prize at Caen, the 2008 Octave-Mirbeau prize at the Trévières Literary Festival, and the 2008 Ancres Noires by Le Havre.

In 2008, his third novel, Mourir sur Seine ("Death on the Seine"), was published to coincide with the Rouen Regatta. It sold several thousand copies within weeks. It won the Basse-Normandie Regional Committee Prize (Queen Mathilde Prize).

In 2009, his fourth novel, Sang famille ("Family blood"), aimed at both an adult and teenage audience, was published.

In 2010, he contributed to the Les Couleurs de l'instant ("Colours of the Moment") anthology of short stories with French: T'en souviens-tu mon Anaïs? ("Do you remember my Anaïs?"), set in Veules-les-Roses and based on the "legend" of Anaïs Aubert. The same year, he changed publishers to Presses de la Cité. His novel Nymphéas noirs ("Black Waterlilies"), a cloak-and-dagger thriller set in Giverny, the home of Claude Monet, was published on 20 January 2011. It was critically praised and became a best seller, winning the Readers' Award at the Cognac Thriller Festival, the Mediterranean Thriller Prize at the Villeneuve-lès-Avignon Festival, and the Michel Lebrun Grand Prize of the 25th hour of Le Mans, the Readers' Priye at Sang d'Encre of Vienne, and the Gustave Flaubert Grand Prize of the Norman Writers' Guild, becoming the best-selling French detective novel of 2011. It was issued in paperback on 5 September 2013.

In January 2012, his novel Un avion sans elle ("After the Crash"), his first work to be set outside of Normandy, was published by Presses de la Cité. The critic Gérald Collard called it the thriller of the year. In its first year of publication it was awarded the Maison de la Presse award,[9] the Popular Novel Award and Best French-language Detective Novel (at Montigny-Les-Cormeilles). Within months of release, it had sold 500,000 copies in France and has since sold over one million copies.[9][10] It has been sold in translation in 34 countries worldwide including Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Portugal, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Israel, Brazil, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Netherlands, Vietnam, Latvia, Romania and Serbia.[11] From September 2013, it was serialised daily in l'Est Républicain for over 200 days. A four episode TV adaptation will be broadcast in 2019 on M6.[10][12]

In March 2013, La Cité published Michel Bussi's seventh novel, Ne lâche pas ma main ("Don't Let Go of My Hand"). The novel takes place on the tropical island of Réunion and revolves around a woman who disappears from her hotel room. Her husband, suspected of her murder, runs away with their daughter, and is pursued by the police.[13] The novel was a finalist for the 2012 Relay Travellers' Award for May 2012, a finalist for the Grand Prix for Detective Fiction and won the 2013 Island Novel Award. In 2014, it was released in paperback by Pocket. A TV adaptation for TF1 is in production.[10] In 2013, Bussi was the eighth bestselling French author, selling 478,800 books.[14]

In May 2014, La Cité published his eighth novel, N'oublier jamais ("Never forget").[15] In 2014, Bussi was the fifth bestselling French author, selling 843,000 books.[16]

In 2015, his novel Maman a tort ("Mother is Wrong") was published.[17] In May 2018, a 6 episode TV adaptation was broadcast on France 2.[10][18] In 2015, Bussi was the third bestselling French author, selling over 1 million books.[19]

In 2016, Bussi was the second bestselling French author, selling 1,135,300 books.[20] In 2017, he was the third bestselling French author, selling 931,000 books.[21][22] In 2018, he was the second bestselling French author, selling 975,800 books.[2]


First Published French Title First Published in English English Title Notes
2006 Code Lupin Rereleased in 2019[9][23]
2007 Omaha crimes [9]
2008 Mourir sur Seine Reworked and re-released in 2019[24]
2009 Sang famille Family Blood Rereleased in 2018
2011 Nymphéas noirs 2016 Black Water Lilies [25]
2012 Un avion sans elle 2015 After the Crash [26]
2013 Ne lâche pas ma main 2017 Don't Let Go [27]
2014 N'oublier jamais 2020 Never Forget [15]
2015 Gravé dans le sable Re-written version of Omaha crimes[28]
2015 Maman a tort 2021 The Wrong Mother [17]
2016 Le temps est assassin 2018 Time is a Killer [29]
2017 On la trouvait plutôt jolie [30][31]
2018 Les Contes du Réveil Matin Children's book, illustrated by Éric Puybaret[32]
2019 J'ai dû rêver trop fort [33]
2020 Au soleil redouté [34]
2021 Rien ne t'efface [35]
Novellas in collections
  • 2010 — "T'en souviens-tu mon Anaïs?" in Les Couleurs de l'instant
  • 2015 — "L'Armoire normande" in Quatre auteurs à la plage
  • 2016 — "La Seconde Morte, in 13 à table!
Non-fiction books
  • Éléments de géographie électorale: à travers l'exemple de la France de l'Ouest [Elements of Electoral Geography: Examples from Western France] (in French). Mont-Saint-Aignan: University of Rouen. 1998. ISBN 2-87775-236-4.
  • Pour une nouvelle géographie du politique: territoires, démocratie, élection [Towards a New Political Geography: Territory, Democracy, Election] (in French). Paris: Anthropos. 2004. ISBN 2-7178-4764-2.


Omaha CrimesEdit

Mourir sur SeineEdit

Nymphéas noirsEdit

  • 2011: Readers' Thriller Prize, Cognac Festival
  • 2011: Mediterranean Thriller prize (Villeneuve-lès-Avignon Festival)
  • 2011: Michel-Lebrun Prize at the 25th Hour of Le Mans
  • 2011: Gustave Flaubert Grand Prize, Norman Writers' Guild
  • 2011: Writers' Prize at the Festival Sang d'Encre, Vienne, Isère
  • 2011: Critics' Prize for Mystery (3rd place)
  • 2011: French Thriller Prize at Montigny-lès-Cormeilles (2nd place)
  • 2011: Marseilles Thriller Prize
  • 2011: Cognac Thriller Prize
  • 2011: Popular Novel Prize at Elven, Morbihan
  • 2011: Prix Plume-Libre
  • 2011: Crystal Pen Prize at the Detective Novel Festival at Liège.
  • 2014: "critiques-libres.com" Prize (14,000-member literature website)
  • 2015: Prix Domitys (Prix des Maisons de Retraite)

Un avion sans elleEdit

  • 2012: Prix Maison de la Presse ("Publishers' Award")
  • 2012: Prix du polar francophone, Montigny-lès-Cormeilles
  • 2012: Prix du roman populaire, Elven, Morbihan
  • 2012: Prix "à chacun son histoire" ("Everyone has a story"), Estaimpuis, Belgium
  • 2012: Grand Prix de littérature policière (finalist)
  • 2012: Prix Polar de Cognac (finalist)
  • 2013: NVN Reader's Prize, le Noir du Val Noir, Vaugneray
  • 2014: Prix Dupuy (lycée Dupuy de Lôme)

Ne lâche pas ma mainEdit

  • 2013: Book of the Month, May, Europe 1/Relay Travellers' Prize
  • 2013: Prix du roman insulaire, salon du livre insulaire d'Ouessant, "Crime" category
  • 2013: Prix des lecteurs "Voyage au cœur du polar", bibliothèque de Mesnil-Esnard.
  • 2013: Grand Prix de littérature policière (finalist)
  • 2013: Prix Interpol'art (finalist)
  • 2013: Prix Polar de Cognac (finalist)
  • 2014: Pays de Pouzauges Literary Prize
  • 2014: Murderer's Pen Prize (French: Prix "la Plume Martraise") Martres-Tolosane


  1. ^ "Biography: Michel Bussi". Bookreporter. February 16, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Le Figaro dévoile son palmarès des auteurs les plus vendus en 2018". Livres Hebdo (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  3. ^ "Les incontournables d'Europe - Michel Bussi" [Best of Europe - Michel Bussi]. Europe 1 (in French). Aliagas, Nikos (interviewer). 31 May 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Michel Bussi, parrain officiel de la Fête Des Normands]". Official website of Fête Des Normands (in French). Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  5. ^ Aïssaoui, Mohammed (15 January 2014). "Les dix best-sellers français de l'année 2013" [The ten French bestsellers of 2013]. Le Figaro. Culture (in French). Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Michel Bussi, l'auteur de polars de Rouen à succès, remet le couvert". 76actu. Chion, Thierry (interviewer). 20 June 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b Caviglioli, David (23 February 2014). "Michel Bussi, la nouvelle star" [Michel Bussi, the rising star]. Le Nouvel Observateur (in French). Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  8. ^ Payot, Marianne (10 May 2014). "Michel Bussi: géographe le jour, auteur de polars la nuit" ["Michel Bussi: geographer by day, author by night]. L’Express (in French). Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d "Michel Bussi, géo-localisé". Libération.fr (in French). 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  10. ^ a b c d "L'écrivain normand Michel Bussi raconte les secrets de son dernier rêve". France 3 Normandie (in French). Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  11. ^ ""Un avion sans elle" à l'étranger". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  12. ^ "« Un avion sans elle » porté à l'écran par M6". www.estrepublicain.fr (in French). Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  13. ^ "Ne lâche pas ma main". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  14. ^ "Les 10 plus gros vendeurs de romans de 2013". Bibliobs (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  15. ^ a b Peiffer, Valérie (2014-11-04). "Michel Bussi, l'histoire d'un succès". Le Point (in French). Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  16. ^ "Les 10 plus gros vendeurs de romans en 2014". Bibliobs (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  17. ^ a b ""Maman a tort" : la nouvelle enquête de Michel Bussi". Europe 1. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  18. ^ Mother Is Wrong, retrieved 2019-03-06
  19. ^ "Et les plus gros vendeurs de romans en 2015 sont..." FIGARO. 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  20. ^ "Et les plus gros vendeurs de romans en 2016 sont..." FIGARO. 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  21. ^ "Qui sont les 10 écrivains français qui ont le plus vendu en 2017?". FranceSoir (in French). 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  22. ^ magazine, Le Point (2018-01-18). "Qui sont les écrivains français les plus vendus en 2017 ?". Le Point (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  23. ^ "Code Lupin". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  24. ^ "Mourir sur Seine". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  25. ^ ""Nymphéas noirs" à l'étranger". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  26. ^ ""Un avion sans elle" à l'étranger". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  27. ^ ""Ne lâche pas ma main" à l'étranger". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  28. ^ "Gravé dans le sable". Michel Bussi (in French). 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  29. ^ "Le nouveau roman de Michel Bussi : "Le temps est assassin"". Les 8 Plumes (in French). 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  30. ^ "On la trouvait plutôt jolie, de Michel Bussi: le prix du rêve". FIGARO. 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  31. ^ ""On la trouvait plutôt jolie" de Michel Bussi est dans "Les Livres ont la parole"". RTL.fr (in French). Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  32. ^ "Les Contes du Réveil Matin". Michel Bussi (in French). 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  33. ^ "J'ai dû rêver trop fort". Michel Bussi (in French). 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  34. ^ "Au soleil redouté". Michel Bussi (in French). 2019-12-18. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  35. ^ "Rien ne t'efface". Michel Bussi (in French). 2021-02-04. Retrieved 2021-03-16.

External linksEdit