Tucked away in the 1st arrondissement in Paris, on the Rue du Louvre, is a green neon sign that looks like something from a film noir. It marks the location of the mysterious sounding Duluc Detective Agency. The striking Prussian-blue door underneath has a doorbell and a brass plate, simply inscribed, “Duluc. Enquêtes 1er étage” — “Duluc. Investigations. 1st Floor.”
The sign and doorway may look like part of a movie set, but they belong to one of the last — and oldest — private detective agencies in France. Still family run, the current head is one Madame Duluc, who inherited the agency from her father, who in turn inherited it from his father — a former policeman in the “La Sûreté Nationale” (the detective branch of the civil police force in Paris at the time).
The original license for the agency inside the office shows the founder, Jean Duluc, a well-dressed man with a bow tie and an elegant handlebar mustache. He began his agency in 1913, and it has been operating out of this location, just around the corner from the Louvre Museum, since 1945. As a full-service private detective agency, they carry on the tradition — investigating missing persons, industrial espionage, swindle cases, and everything in between. As they quietly profess, “24/7 service. Total discretion.”
Even though the façade and bright green neon made an appearance in the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris, everything else about the agency remains confidential.