Quais du Polar in Lyon

Did you know that every year there is a great book show happening in Lyon? I would have almost accidently missed out on this…but I managed to visit on the last day and it was a very good idea. But what I am talking about…of course the very famous Quais du Polar


After so many years and popularity it gained, Quais du Polar is now called the world-renowned festival. This year it was exactly its 11th edition taking place at the end of March here in Lyon. It stared on Friday March 27th, was very and crowded on the 28th and nice and relaxed when I visited in on the 29th March.

Quais du Polar 2015
Quais du Polar 2015

Last year the book festival had its tenth anniversary and has been visited by over 65 000 visitors. Impressive isn’t it? But this year..there was over 70 000 visitors and 30 000 books sold (even when you consider we live in the times of kindles and ebooks) A pretty good score and such a promotion for an author and marketing gain and of course financial one. But to be honest, wow – the authors were so casual, welcoming, approachable and nice. Even if crime stories are not my cup of tea, I really enjoyed meeting them, finding out on what they wrote about and discovering new trends, bestsellers etc.

So, Quais du Polar has become the key event for the ‘crime fiction scene’. It is recognised worldwide, it gets a lot of attention both professionally and by the increasing audience of such novice as I am. So the authors come from all over the world, the want to be there, the same as the reader.

Quais du Polar 2015 Authors
Quais du Polar 2015 Authors

So who came this year? Well Quais du Polar has hosted authors from all over the world, here comes:

  • Central America with Paco Ignacio Taibo II (Mexico), Leonardo Padura (Cuba), Horacio Castellanos Moya (Salvador), Daniel Quirós (Costa Rica)
  • Southern America with Paulo Lins et Edyr Augusto (Brazil), Luis Sepúlveda (Chili), Santiago Gamboa (Colombia),Ernesto Mallo (Argentina), Diego Trelles Paz (Peru)
  • USA & Canada with the very famous John Grisham (USA), Elizabeth George (USA), Don Winslow (USA),Shannon Burke (USA), or even Emily St John Mandel (Canada) and Maurice G. Dantec (Canada), Attica Locke (USA), Mike Nicol (South Africa) et Sebastian Rotella (USA)
  • UK: Anthony Horowitz (GB), Nicci French (GB), Val McDermid (Scotland),Denise Mina (GB),Tom Rob Smith (GB)
  • Other countries: Yasmina Khadra (Algeria) or even Caryl Férey and Ian Manoo, Kishwar Desai (India), Saul Black (GB), Dror Mishani (Isr.), Gert Nygårdshaug(Norv.) and the French authors Elena Piacentini, Michaël Mention, Christophe Reydi-Gramond and Nicolas Matthieu

And the very famous and recognizable names: Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Michel Quint, Michel Bussi, Maxime Chattam; Nicci French, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Tom Rob Smith just to name a few.

So more less over 100 authors from about 230 nationalities!
And the very famous Michael Connelly had his talks and events happening at the Quais du Polar. Here comes The Real Star!
But what exactly has been happening at the show and what this show is for?

So, you could come and buy a book, you could come with your old book, you could speak with the author and obviously get their autograph and possibly a photo.
Additionally, there are conferences and talks, most of them are free to attend and this year programme is presented on here
On top of this all, Quais du Polar has been also a great opportunity to experience various unusual events across the city. It has been hosted in the amazing venue in the Central Lyon – Le Palais du Commerce (CCI de Lyon)

Le Palais du Commerce
Le Palais du Commerce

But also there were events happening all over the Grand Lyon and the Region at the Beaux-Arts Museum, Gadagne Museum, Departmental Archives, INSA Printing Museum, Anatomy Museum, Police National Superior School, venue Toboggan in Décines, in Saint-Etienne’s, Roanne’s and Bourg-en-Bresse’s media libraries… During this edition, there were some active partnerships with the Confluences Museum, Célestins Theatre and the Maison de la Danse.
And the Winner is….yes, Quais du Polar is also a great opportunity to reward the authors and show reader’s appreciation for their works. So here you comes….some of the main Quais du Polar Prizes detailed and in…French (sorry about this!)

Le Palais du Commerce
Le Palais du Commerce

So it was good, better then I expected and next year I will go there prepared. I mean I will study the programes, get the authors names and the books with myself..so I can go and hunt for their signatures!


I am a Polish girl who felt in love with Lyon from the first sight! Jadorelyon is my way of exploring France, the French way of life, their cuisine, sharing the experience from visiting beautiful places in France. Jadorelyon is my new way of adding some Polish influence into French lives and watching on how they like it...

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