Monday, May 4


May 4th
Our village is buzzing with gossip about the arrest for fraud of our notorious local estate agent. It was impossible to buy a property around here without Madame Vilaine being involved, new occupiers of property who’d just been (unknowingly) fleeced by her would be approached with the suggestion that they in turn act as agents, introducing their house-hunting friends in return for a cut of any resulting sale. These semi-retired incomers were flattered that their prowess in the property market was finally being recognised and they worked quite hard to deliver more victims to the Vilaine business.

I had an audience with Mme V when I first arrived in the area, I was only looking to rent and I’d happened on a rare day when she was in the office. Seated on a Louis XV chair, she’d sniffed at me and handed over the details of a property that was clearly a garden shed on a rubbish dump, I declined, she heaved her bosom, sighed heavily and told me that I couldn’t be helped - I was dismissed.

I’ve been hearing stories that make my hair freeze, like the one about properties rotten with termites that had been waved through by the surveyors Mme V appointed, but her most common trick was the 10% deposit scam:

In France when the buyer's offer on a property is accepted, they hand over 10% of the agreed price as a non-refundable deposit. This should be held by an independent notaire (legal person). Mme V managed to persuade many of her naïve foreign buyers to give her this deposit directly, she used these deposits to support her other illegal activities, (we’ve been loving speculating on these) using various stalling tactics the sale then progressed very very slowly. This scam depended on a high turnover of sales and a constant influx of deposits and is the reason her empire has now unravelled.

Eighteen months ago The Strange family made a very low offer on the village bar for sale through Madame Vilaine. The previous owner was trying to avoid bankruptcy and agreed to the price for a quick sale. Mrs Strange handed her deposit to Madame V who held onto it for six months, this had catastrophic results for the vendor who still lives in the village.


  1. She sounds like a frightful old leech. Do the French still allow the mob to throw onions at prisoners awaiting sentence?

  2. Blimey! I bet Mad V skins Dalmation puppies as well.

  3. Oooh, I love the smell of justice on a Monday!

  4. Will she be beheaded in the town square?

  5. Gorilla - she was astonishingly intimidating, there are plenty of people wanting to throw more than onions.

    Scarlet - I know she does because I've seen her wearing them

    Kat - the smell of justice in the nose of one who escaped is even sweeter

    Emz - I am keen on throwing smelly fruit at her, but the people who's deposits have disappeared are calling for burning.

  6. I am now wondering if she is also responsible for the declining value of my retirement funds.

  7. Wouldn't properties full of termites been an advantage in your line or work?

    Oh Hai XL!

  8. XL - she is totally responsible for the declining value of your retirement funds

    MJ - Termites are very interesting to us - but I'm not allowed to say that because here they are the worst thing in the world - even worse than all the fires caused by faulty wiring in this neighbourhood

  9. I shall knit her name in my scarf and watch as her head roles around in the basket. I reckon you need to set Miss Whiplash up as the new estate agent. She'd draw punters in easily.

  10. Are you going to leave it hanging like that??? Is she in the local clink doing porridge (or the French equivalent... bouillie de flocons d'avoine, perhaps?) And what's the poor nearly bankrupt person doing - organising a lynch party (soirée de lynchage?)

  11. il y a anguille sous roche, toujours...

    What an evil person.

  12. Madame DeFarge
    I reckon you need to set Miss Whiplash up as the new estate agent

    Miss W and I have plans to take over every aspect of this region's social, political and economic enterprises. *evil laughs*

    Gadj - I don't know what will happen to her. The poor lady who sold her bar for peanuts is a tragedy but I don't know her yet.
    An update on the bar is due but every time I try and write about it I lose the will to live...

    Pru - Off with her head!and her ears, eyes and toes

    Eric il y a anguille sous roche, toujours...What a great expression - welcome!!

  13. Gosh. She looks really awful in your picture. I don't know if I can spell "schadenfreude" or "guillotine" properly but both words ran through my head reading this post. My word verification is "upeedis" which adds a grace note here.

  14. KSV - there are certainly elements of both in this tale

    Alpha Woman - it's good to know that men don't have a monopoly on badness


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