Tienda parisina demanda a escritora

Parisian shop sues crime writer

Lalie Walker, the author of a crime thriller, is being taken to court because the action of her new book takes place in a well-known shopping emporium in Paris. The owners of Marché Saint-Pierre say her book damages its reputation.

Reporter: Hugh Schofield

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It's a highly unusual legal situation where the author of a piece of fiction is taken to court because the action takes place in a particular locality, and the owners of that locality feel their name has been dragged through the mud. Yet that's what's happened in the case of Lalie Walker's book, Aux Malheurs des Dames.

The Marché Saint-Pierre, where the murder story unfolds, is a well-known fabric store near Montmartre. In the book, staff members go missing as voodoo dolls are pinned to the walls and rumours swirl around the behaviour of the shop's managers.

In their plea, the real-life owners of the Marché Saint-Pierre say it's a registered trade mark and that no one can write about it without prior permission. They say their image has been seriously harmed by the book, and they want damages of two million euros - more than two and a half million dollars.

The author Lalie Walker is mystified. "If you can't set stories in real-life places," she says, "then you might as well just give up."

Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

Listen to the words

a piece of fiction obra de ficción

locality localidad

their name has been dragged through the mudsu nombre ha sido difamado, manchado

unfoldsse desarrolla

fabric store tienda de telas

voodoo dolls muñecas vudú

rumours swirl aroundse multiplican los rumores

real-life ownerslos dueños en la vida real

a registered trade markuna marca registrada

without prior permissionsin previo permiso