The Curse of the Three Saints

The Bus Stop Mystery Club (#1)

Original Title: La Bande de l'Abribus: Du rififi en psychiatrie

Publication: 2024

Author: Luce Michel

Sometimes you can’t trust doctor’s orders…

A private clinic nestled between three idyllic villages in the South of France.
A doctor torn between her duty to cure her patients and the need to keep her private hospital full.
What could go wrong?

The Three Saints private clinic is located between the villages of Sainte-Agathe, Sainte-Anastasia and Sainte-Lucie, on the Côte d’Azur. It offers its patients all the treatments and comfort they need for a prompt recovery. Depression, alcoholism, addiction, burn-out: the Three Saints caters for all.

Valérie, Viviane, Yves and Aurore all work in education. Valérie teaches English and is having an ill-advised affair with a fellow patient. Viviane, divorced and a mother of three, teaches accounting, organizes her life in an Excel spreadsheet and has an obsession with Lion chocolate bars. Yves is a school cleaner passionate about Greek philosophy, approaching retirement and going through a divorce. Aurore is a young librarian and bookworm, single and already suffering from burn-out. This unlikely combination of individuals all meet at the Three Saints and become friends, sharing their worries, hopes, dreams and cigarettes daily under the bus shelter. And if there’s one thing in life they have no doubt about, it’s this: their doctors want the best for them.

But little do they suspect that the manager, Dr Amelie Bescotte (single, lives with her cat), is under pressure to keep the clinic full. When a patient is deemed fit to return to the outside world, another must take their place as the management won’t tolerate empty beds. So Dr Bescotte must come up with an idea to make sure the patients won’t go back to their everyday lives too quickly…

As Dr Bescotte is distracted with her own problems, strange things start to happen at the Three Saints: several dead bodies are found in the grounds and mysterious glass bottles of green liquid start turning up in patients’ rooms. Everyone seems to be turning a blind eye, but Céline, a cleaner at the clinic, is suspicious. Céline has experienced divorce and has been supporting Yves through his (strictly against protocol). When she shares her doubts with him, they decide to investigate. Together with the rest of the Bus Stop Club, they must confront their individual fears and find out who is behind these crimes before the killer strikes again. And amongst the murder and mayhem, and perhaps most surprisingly of all, Céline and Yves realise they just might be falling in love…

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Original Language

FRENCH | Black Lab/Hachette Livre


“Occupying the space between joyful comedy and psychological thriller, Luce Michel crafts a novel both gentle and eccentric, as dark as it is luminous, whose characters are far from being as unstable as they may seem.” L’Alsace Livres

“A dark comedy that immerses us in the daily lives of patients at a mental health clinic. Sensitive souls, do not abstain.” Var-Matin

"The prose is marked by its lightness, humor, and seamless flow; the chapters are short, lively, and engaging, making the whole thing a pleasure to read. Without being obvious, it prompts reflection. All the characters are a bit eccentric, making them quite endearing to the reader, but they're not as 'out there' as it might seem." Le Mensuel

“If you enjoy dark humor, even very dark humor, this novel is an absolute must-read. Both drama and sarcastic comedy, the book has just the right amount of suspense, delirium, and investigation to make for an enjoyable reading experience.” Elizabeth Sutton, Id Boox

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