New novel from Peter Crush: a sorceress on the run

Nouveau roman de Pierre Béguin: une ensorceleuse en cavale

The swiss writer Peter Crush is inspired by a story incredible, but true, to write his new novel, The scandalous Madame B’s. Sifting through many archives, it has retraced the life of Josette Bauer, a woman who has made headlines in the 1960s by escaping from prison and mixing with the drug trafficking, incorporating the famous French Connection.

The run of Josette Bauer lasted 17 years. It has led to a diplomatic war between Switzerland and the United States and has fascinated the press of the time. It has fascinated more than one – even the american writer Truman Capote remained flabbergasted. At the point of writing about it… imagined Stone Crush.

The writer has given the narrative of the life of this criminal is being evaporated into the nature of those who have spoken about it : the journalists, columnists judicial personalities such as Truman Capote, and Henry Kissinger. Even the kennedys and the Rolling Stones appear in this story very original.

This character larger than life, and the international scandal caused by his actions were completely spellbound. He stumbled upon this topic by chance, while doing research in the media for another book, there are three or four years. “As the archives are a little archaic in Geneva – they are not scanned – I have been obliged to pass the microfilm. I had it for three months,” notes the writer, interviewed from his residence in Geneva during the confinement.

So it fell on the case of Bauer, which was marked by Switzerland and the United States. “It was a case very important, because it is a parricide, which is still quite rare. And this woman – we don’t know if it was a co-author or not, she has always denied – was a little amoral, with many lovers, and very emancipated. In the 1950s, in Geneva, it doesn’t work. It has passed a little for the last witch of Geneva.”

It was also a case of drawers”, he adds, since Josette Bauer has been involved in the French Connection, to the business of drugs. “It has been the issue of a diplomatic war of 14 years between the United States and Switzerland. This is a case that we talked about, here, regularly, for twenty years.”

Pierre Béguin has found it to be very interesting in the way in which his destiny was built. “I’ve built my book in this sense. At bottom, this is a woman who, in the strict terms of his temperament, would have had to have a life relatively row and no one would have had to hear about it. But it didn’t happen like that.”

Sentenced, he is now a fugitive from prison before the end of his sentence. “Suddenly, she becomes a woman on the run and can’t resume his normal life.” It gets caught in Miami and the FBI is on his heels. “There are small ironies, bad luck, small mistakes that it made. All this builds a destiny that would never have taken place. I have rarely seen a life like that!”

  • Pierre Béguin lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • He has long taught French literature at the Collège Calvin.
  • He has published several novels, including Land of person (prix de la fondation Schiller 2005) and Sentenced for the benefit of the doubt (price Edward-Rod 2016).
  • He is also a guitarist and folk hours.


Pierre Béguin. Editions Albin Michel
approximately 448 pages”>

The scandalous Madame B.
Pierre Béguin. Editions Albin Michel
approximately 448 pages

What can one expect of a people domesticated to which the mind does not know of other foods that the newspapers of his masters ? It screams : “death to the witch !” In the fantasies popular, the accused is likened to a kind of Messaline who has had more lovers than the Great Turk had concubines. “Dream” by the press bike who finds in it the old archetype of the sorceress, it crystallises the repulsion. Josette Bauer becomes “the witch of Geneva”, “the scandalous mask of angel”, “the evil of earthly Delights.”

His legend is rising like a black sun.”

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