He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.
©2008 Walker and Watson Ltd.; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
I recommend this to any lover of a good crime story "who done it" but it has a twist. I am used to the hard boiled tough as nails shoot em up American cop.
This member of his local constabulary (actually the only member) is cut from a different bolt of cloth in a delightful way.
Clearly Benoît Courrèges, aka Bruno of course!!
The scene where the crime is solved! There's a love story wrapped into this wonderful story! It unfolds and that's a great scene.
I smiled a lot while listening to the story!
Another reviewer compares Bruno to Inspector Gamache, and I think that's apt. There's less of the mystical here, though (Three Pines is the sort of place one knows could never really exist; Saint Denis seems more like a possibility in a mirror world to this one). And the food - oh, the food - is even better than that served in the Three Pines bistro! The mystery in this book seemed unlikely; the characters were somehow unreal; the situations felt like set pieces; but it's the food & drink I'll remember. This was the first in a series, and I enjoyed it enough that I bought the second. If the characters are more fleshed-out, and the mystery more believable, this could be a good series. As for the narrator: clarity of speech matters more to me than authentic accents or great acting (although poor accents are problematic & over-acting is distracting), and I found Robert Ian MacKenzie a pleasure to listen to.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
In a sleepy French village, Bruno who does his best NOT to arrest anyone, finds himself in the predicament of having to investigate a murder . . . and nothing is exactly as it seems . . . riots . . . Dutch drug dealers . . . real estate moguls . . . war heroes . . . and then there's sweet Bruno with his chickens and little dog, Gigi . . . who meets Isabelle while investigating the murder . . . great story, with unseen twists and turns . . . great resolution . . . I've already downloaded the next in the series . . .
I never heard of this series before I saw the first book on sale, but it sounded interesting so I took a chance and I'm so glad I did. I loved everything about this book– the setting, characters, pacing, protagonist, etc. – with just one exception. It could've had a more exciting climax and, at the end, a bit more resolution. Otherwise, it was darn near perfect. I will be recommending this widely, and I'll certainly continue reading with the next book in the series. It's a delight.
Decent story, good food descriptions, interesting characters. Bruno, a very kindly, moral character. Overly detailed descriptions of women's clothing. I learned some new facts about France in WWII. Smart ending.
Enjoyable characters and story. A little history and French cuisine/wine knowledge mixed in. Made me want to listen to more Bruno stories (and I have enjoyed them also).
Love the French setting and the food. Bruno is adorable. Plot makes important progressive statements.
I highly recommend this book!
Besides how entertaining and evocative of life in southern France, I found Martin Walker's book to be incredibly timely, given the recent turmoil in France (Charlie Hebdo). The historical accounts of French Resistance fighters, and Vichy and gestapo police, were enlightening and handled with a well-balanced objectivity...the author's journalism background does him proud. Furthermore, Bruno is an entertaining protagonist, albeit a little too good to be true, and some scenes make me groan for their obvious "guy's point of view", but, hey-that can be instructive, too. All in all, a terrific listen.
As others have noted, the British narrator is distracting, but I think we are always supposed to bear in mind that this is written from a British
point of view. I will try to get used to him (I see he has read all the books in the series.) because I like Bruno, and I especially like Walker's historical approach so much!
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