Excusez-moi, mesdames et monssieurs!

I almost forgot to mention that THE PRESLEY PLOT (“Le Complot Presley”) is now the number one bestselling mystery novel at the world famous Le Meridien Etoile bookstore in Paris!  (Eat your heart out, E.L. James!)

Proving that they have exquisite taste, the Parisians gobbled up each and every  copy that I provided!  (That dang suitcase weighed a ton!)   In England, THE PRESLEY PLOT was selling for 10 pounds, which is roughly $15 here in the U.S.    If I recall, the French were selling the book for about 12 eruos, which is about the same, give or take a few cents.  All very confusing, but that’s show biz.

I wish to publicly thank the Meridien Hotel group for their kindness.  (Do you think a “French Toast” would be appropriate?)  Why not…..  Vive la France!   Incidentally, they were also sweet enough to provide a very lovely room upgrade on my return visit… a great room overlooking the Eiffel Tower!  Very kind and most memorable.

In truth, the “French Connection,” (meaning the bookstore) was a complete surprise, and I am most grateful to the charming demoiselle that offered to feature my modest tale.  (I do feel a little guilty.  I told her that I was Victor Hugo’s great-grandson.)  What some folks won’t do for fame!

Hopefully my commission will be paid in euros.  (Then I’ll have to go back to Paris to spend all that loot!)  And you thought being a writer was easy?  Ha!   The pressure never stops!  (All right, maybe it lets up a little while you’re munching on caviar and drinking champagne, but that’s about it.)   By the way, the French word “etoile,” means “star” in English.  Now I ask you, was there ever a bigger star than Elvis Presley?  I think not.  Another strange coincidence!

Well, I must leave you now.  I am flipping through a catalog of French countryside chateaus….. just in case THE PRESLEY PLOT takes off.  I’m torn between the Medoc region and Burgundy.  Decisions, decisions!  I guess it will come down to wine.  I’ll keep you informed of my progress…..

L’Amour pour tous…..

Au Renoir,

Doc Yanoff


Well, in the words of William Jefferson Clinton, all good things must come to an end! (Oui, Monica!)  The time has come to bid farewell to France, and even though I enjoyed every minute, just in the nick of time…..  My liver is turning into foie gras and my brain into pate!  (All things considered, not such a bad way to go.)  Nevertheless, it is time to go, and I must say it has been quite a party.

Yesterday was spent in Avignon, once a Papal residence.  The old town is surrounded by a three-mile long wall fortified with 39 towers and a pair of pits.  (Or was that parapet?)  In any case, the place was built in the 13oo’s, which speaks well for the building unions of that time.  There are some cracks here and there, but by in large, it has held up well.  (Reminds me of a few mademoislles I saw!)  After an intriguing tour of the Papal Palace, we strolled over to Le Pont d’ Avignon, the most famous bridge in France.  French children learn to sing a nursery rhyme about the bridge at a very young age.  I think Simon and Garfunkel also wrote a song about the bridge.  Here in lovely Avignon I had the best coffee and quiche of my life, plus I met a guy in the village square who was the runner-up for Pope during the last installation.  (He took the defeat rather hard and is now selling postcards.)

Today was spent in Arles, which rhymes with “Carl,” but without the “C.”  (French ain’t easy!)  Arles has the most impressive Roman remains outside of Italy and Hoboken, New Jersey.  The town is simply stunning, and as some of you know, it is closely associated with a very famous painter named Norman Rockwell.  Wait, I got that last part wrong!  I meant to say Vincent van Gogh.

Poor Vincent led a troubled life.  If you ask me, he moved around too much.  (Dare I say that he was a “moving” van?)  So where, you might wonder, did Van go?  Well, he traveled all over France but spent 15 happy months painting in Arles.  I think this was after he cut off his ear, which the locals thought was “eerie.”  (I was going to go with “irritating,” but it was too easy.)  Walking around the old city, we actually got to see some of the locations that he painted, and that was very interesting.  The man was definitely talented, but he was no Olaf Weighorst.  (There was a man who could paint horses!)

This afternoon, we drove to a working olive farm (mainly because it didn’t make any sense to visit a non-working farm) and learned how olive juice, I mean, olive oil is made.  It was very “depressing.”  (Think olive press.)  By the way, the Countess thought that an olive press was the local newspaper!  Sometimes that girl is the “pits.”

All right, no more olive puns!

After sampling some great olives and olive oil, we drove up to a Medieval fortification and had time to tour a small, but fascinating museum dedicated to Grace Kelly!  (Her hubby was part of the Grimaldi family, which once owned most of the land in the area.)  The Mistral (cold winds) were acting up a bit, but we were still able to see many fascinating sites, including a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.

Well, it is time to pack the ship towels, I mean, our clothes.  Tomorrow we take the High-Speed train back to Paris, spend the night, then fly back to New York City for some badly needed rest.  (This vacation wore me out!)  Thank you all for following my Elvis/Travel Blog for the last few weeks.  I have had over 1,000 blog hits since we landed in London, and at last count, I’ve heard from 33 different countries!!

I am VERY flattered that so many people took the time to read my blog!  Sincerely, I thank each and every one of you, and I hope I brought a little smile to your face.  You will hear from me soon…. whence I return to the Lone Star State and catch up with the mail!

Au revoir, my friends!

Monsieur Stephen…..  A homesick American!


(If we were watching Johnny Carson, he might say….. name a King, a mustard with zing, and a wine that will make you sing!)   O.M.G., the south of France is totally, how shall I say, MAGNIFIQUE!   (Which is slightly better than magnificent.)  Our wonderfully serene cruise has brought the Countess and I through the heart of Burgundy, gliding past some of the most spectacular (and valuable) vineyards on earth!  Yesterday was spent in the thoroughly charming village of Beaune.  (The historic center of the dukes of Burgundy.)  Not to brag, but I met the descendants of the Duke of Earl and the Duke of Snyder.  Believe it or not, they walk around town using stilts!  This may be where we get the term “put up your dukes!”  (I was going to go with “uppity,” but I changed my mind.)

After purchasing a few gallons of mustard, we were driven to Chateau Pommard (Yep, that Chateau Pommard!) and were treated to a gourmet luncheon, tour of the vineyard and cellars, and a marvelous wine tasting experience.  Oddly enough, the wine director recognized me, or thought he did, as “Monsieur Stephen” the famous American author.  (I later discovered that he thought I was Stephen King!)  Sensing a golden opportunity to pull the wool over his eyes (yeah, they raised some sheep, too) I convinced him that I was Stephen King…. and he brought out the “good stuff” for us to sip.  (The REALLY good stuff!)  A wonderful wine that I managed to swallow in vast quantities without getting drunk!  From what I remember, we all had a great time and eagerly await our next chateau visit.  (Which happens to be tomorrow!)

When we crawled back on board our vessel, it was time for the Captain’s Dinner. (Think caviar, pate, saddle of veal, souffle, and……  more wine!)  Only because people are starving in China and India (according to my mother) I forced myself to consume a huge portion of the above treats, but I limited myself to one liter of champagne and one liter of wine.  (By the way, “liter” is the French word for bottle.)  God, I’m really starting to love these villages.  What Gauls they have!

Well, mademoiselles et monsieurs, I must run….  the fascinating city of Lyon awaits!  (We just dropped anchor.)  Looks like another sunny, warm day.  We are docked in the heart of the city, and from what I can see, the French have done it again.  Truly remarkable!

Best wishes and love to all,

Stephan Yanoff, a/k/a  The Marquis de Sade (isfied)



Good evening, my royal subjects…..

Well, as many of you know, Paul Revere (who I have always “revered”) was a colonial patriot who rode through the suburbs of Boston shouting that “the British are coming!”  Why he had to shout I do not know, but now that I have spent a few days in London, I must confess that I absolutely adore our British cousins and would gladly welcome them to invade our country once again.  (But we already pay enough taxes, thank you very much!)  Taxation aside (even with representation) the Brits are more than welcome to stay with me any time they come to the Lone Star State.  (For you folks in Arkansas, that would be Texas.)

After our lovely breakfast at the Egerton House, where we met two of the nicest people on Earth (Mr. Sohail Jaffer and his beautiful wife) we took a cab up to the British Museum, and all I can say is….. WOW!  The place was filled with old stuff, but still very impressive.  Truly one of the best museums in the world, and so big that it would even look oversized in Texas!  (Now that’s big.)  Being a semi-famous writer, my first stop was the William Shakespeare room.  The man was an obvious genius, even though he never wrote a word about Elvis Presley.  (THE PRESLEY PLOT would have made a terrific play, and I might send a copy to the folks at the Globe Theatre just to get their reaction.)

My favorite two stops (after Bill Shakespeare)  were seeing the Rosetta Stone, which next to Mick Jagger, is the most famous stone in Great Britain, and viewing the Elgin Marbles brought to the museum by Lord Elgin.  (Whose family also makes great jalapeno sausage.)  Lord Elgin, as you may remember, “borrowed” the stones from the Parthenon in Athens, but has yet to return them.  (Personally, I think the Greeks lost their marbles way before Lord Elgin, but who am I, an amateur archaeologist to say?)

In any case, the marble columns and statues are now brilliantly displayed in the museum for all to see, and they are quite impressive.  (Lady Spendthrift thought they showed a little too much “masculinity,” but I was kind of impressed with the dimensions of the ancient Greeks.)  Some of the statues may have been Roman, but as they say in Astoria, it was Greek to me.

When we returned to the Egerton House, which just might be the best hotel in our solar system, we were in for a real treat!  First, we met the charming and talented Antonio, a 40-year employee of the hotel, who is quite conceivably the best bartender in the Universe!  (I shall describe my wonderful martini at a later date!)  Then we dined at Mamounia Restaurant, which not only serves the BEST lamb tangine ever made by human hands, but also employs several of the MOST beautiful young ladies I have ever seen!  One was more beautiful than the next!  I had a hard time eating, but somehow I managed to overeat again!  (I am, after all, a professional gourmand)

I may be adopting a gorgeous young lady from Hungary!  And one from Poland!  And another from Ethiopia!  Nevermind, I’ll take them all!  (but they have to bring some lamb with them!)  What a marvelous restaurant!  If you go to London, you must stop by and try their amazing cuisine.  (Bring a camera so you can take some photos of the beautiful ladies!)

Finally, when we returned to the hotel, the amazing staff (under the direction of the world’s best General Manager, Ms. Michelle Devlin) had arranged for a special surprise for us!  The room was covered with rose petals!  There were candles everywhere!  Ice cold champagne!  Soft music!  Dim lights!  (Unfortunately, I was by myself, as Lady Spendthrift was shopping at Harrod’s again, but I still had a romantic experience!)  Just kidding, Mom.  What a lovely and thoughtful surprise!  Since I now have blog followers in 27 different countries, I would like to suggest that if you come to  London, you MUST stay at the Egerton House.  You will love it here, and will love everything about this hotel, especially the kindness and professionalism of the staff and management.  (And you could not ask for a better location!)

Well, it’ time to clear off the rose petals and hit the sack….. tomorrow we are off for Paris…. which I think is somewhere in France.  I can’t wait to show Lady Spendthrift how a guillotine works!  (I hope she doesn’t “lose her head” during my lecture.)

Bon jour mon ami!  I will write again soon….  (unless I decide to join the French Foreign Legion or the American Legion or the Elks Lodge.)

Ta-ta, old chaps……

Doc Yanoff   (a/k/a  Lord Sleepsalot)






Well, as many of you know, today, Thursday, August 16th, marks the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.  I find it difficult to believe that 35 years have gone by so quickly, but as they say, the calendar does not lie.  I am happy to report that the fans who traveled to Memphis to honor The King received a very special surprise.  (No, Elvis did not make a surprise appearance and file for Social Security!)  However…..   for the first time in history Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley appeared together at the annual gathering!

In case your wondering why my first mystery was THE PRESLEY PLOT (I have 4 more books in the works!) let me share some interesting details with you…..  the annual Memphis tribute to Elvis Presley draws hundreds of thousands of fans and runs for the entire week!  The tribute begins with a candlelight vigil at Graceland (which this year attracted 75,000 people!!)  If you have ever wanted to visit Graceland, this is the time to go.  Trust me, you will never forget the sight of so many people walking silently along, holding candles, weeping, and scraping wax from their fingers.  It is a sight to behold!  (As I said in Memphis, no other artist could ever hold a candle to Elvis!)

Oddly enough, when his “old flame” showed up the crowd was stunned…… I later discovered that her appearance was one of those last-minute decisions….but I’m sure everyone was thrilled to see the two ladies together for the first time.  The coolest moment came when Lisa Marie (Elvis Presley’s daughter) told the assembled mass:  “I’ve always avoided this because I felt it would be too emotional, but I really felt it was important to come down here tonight……  I love you very, very, very much.”

Lisa Marie was only 9 years old when her father died, and as she restated in Memphis, she actually thought that her famous father would be forgotten as the years marched on.  OMG, was she wrong!  Event organizers predicted no less than 500,000 visitors during the week of rememberance!  As I have mentioned before, Elvis is selling more records today than when he was alive!  (And believe me, that was a lot of records!)  Graceland, from what I’ve seen, has become something of a national monument, and I recently read that it is the second most visited home in the United States!  The first is the White House, but none of the occupants were ever as popular (or talented) as Elvis Presley.  Granted, a few had similar parties, but none could match the fun and games that occurred at Graceland.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the total madness (in a fun sense) of Elvis Week, I suggest you log onto:   http://www.elvis.com/elvisweekonline/

These folks are providing day to day coverage of the event, and you have to see it to believe it.  (Imagine a city filled with Elvis impersonators!)  They actually do a terrific job covering all of the hundreds of sub-events and special tributes that occur during the week, and if you enjoy the King’s music, this is the site for you.  Of course, an even better source of information would be a copy of the best-selling mystery novel THE PRESLEY PLOT.  I took the liberty of sending a signed copy of the book to both Priscilla and Lisa Marie, and I fully expect a “thank you call” from both of the ladies.  (Hey, a boy can dream!)   If I don’t hear from them, I will just assume that they have a lousy cell phone plan.  (I doubt they’re short on funds, but you never know.)

Well, there you have it friends……  a sweet, but sad day for millions of fans around the world.  If you’re my age (39 years old) or even close to it, take a moment to reflect on the music of this incredible man.  In truth, there will never be another like him.  Nobody will ever come close to the King.  (Although the Beatles are certainly up there.)  Of course, they were four distinct talents…. and Elvis was solo.

I wonder if he is lonesome tonight?  I hope not.  I doubt it.

Long live the King!

Doc Yanoff


So implored Hamlet, offering directions and advice to a group of actors at the court of Denmark.  You do remember Hamlet, don’t you?  His brother, Omelette was more famous, and much more pleasant.  (Most thought he was a good egg.)  Coincidentally, Omelette was a private detective in Copenhagen.  (Similar to Adam Gold!)  I think, but I’m not sure, that is where the term “hard boiled” detective comes from.  Maybe not.  In any case, Omelette liked to keep his “sunny side” up, and I feel the same way!  By now, you might be wondering why I’m discussing Hamlet and his brother….. because I am packing for my trip to jolly old England!

Even though I’m working hard I’ve gained a few pounds.  (I went to the bank for some British currency.)  I gained 400 pounds to be exact, but it cost me an arm and a leg.  (Not literally, mind you, just a figure of speech.)  I thought it wise to have some Brit money when I land at Heathrow Airport on Saturday.  I’m just hoping that I am able to fully communicate with our English cousins.  (They do speak funny.)  If I recall, Winston Churchill once said that England and America are two similar countries…. separated by a common language!

I’m not too concerned about encountering a language barrier, but I do have to watch my pronunciation on this trip because I have been invited to speak about my book and sign some copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT at several functions in London.  Two of the most prominent Elvis Presley Fan Clubs in England have invited me to tea and crumpets (What the heck is a crumpet, anyway?)  and I have tentatively accepted their invitations.  (I say “tentatively” because I want to know what a crumpet is before I accept!)  I’m guessing it’s like a trumpet, only a string instrument.  (No problem, I  had to pull a few strings to get the invite!)  Maybe I should look it up before I go.  The English have some very peculiar habits.  The last time I was in London, my hotel waiter asked me if I would like to bring a couple of tarts back to my room!  (I had brought my own ladyfingers, thank you.)

Nonetheless, I was quite flattered by the invitations, and if my schedule permits, I will certainly attend both events.  My first stop will be the British Museum, and then a short visit with some noble personages.  (We have been invited to lunch by the Duke of Wellington.)  Or was that the Duke of Earl?  One of the two.  I also intend to dine with an old friend of mine who is an insurance underwriter at Lloyds of London.  He is a charming chap, and the last time we dined together he introduced me to the best Indian food in the city.  I am a curry fanatic, and I adore Indian cuisine.  In fact, I always compliment the chef after I gouge myself.  (No, I don’t do it to curry favor!)  I do it because I love curry flavor.  And everything else on the menu!

I made reservations at two wonderful Indian restaurants….. and I hope I don’t have any trouble finding them.  I think I’ll be all right.  You know what they say in Mumbai.  (“Sikh and ye shall find!”)  How hard could it be to find the two top-rated Indian restaurants in London?  (Famous last words.)  I shall keep you informed of my Punjabi progress…. but keep your fingers crossed for me, just in case!

Well, my friends, pip pip and cheerio!  I must go find my passport and disposable underwear for the trip.  (You never want to mix the two up when you get to Customs!)

Take care, have a wonderful day, and I shall write again whence I get settled in London……

LONG THE KING!   (Elvis)

Doc Yanoff