A prolific journalist, Martin Walker has crafted a mystery series that deftly blends the stylings of Peter Mayle and Alexander McCall Smith. Chief Bruno Courreges loves life in his small French village. One day his idyll is disturbed when a local research station for genetically modified crops is burned down. An enclave of environmentalists seems to be the most likely culprit, but soon Bruno uncovers evidence that makes the case infinitely more complicated.
©2009 Walker and Watson, Ltd. (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I discovered this series because of another Audible reviewer. (Thanks, Kathi!) It's certainly not a hardcore police procedural. Rather it has the feel of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series. The characters are quirky. The town is small. While it's not quite on the same level as Penny's Three Pines series, it's very, very good - provided you're not expecting the grit and depth of Jo Nesbø or Adrian McKinty.
Food and wine play a big part in things. For some, it might be a distraction but I actually like hearing about making wine and what's on the menu for the evening. I like the French history that's thrown in and details about life in the countryside. It's all been interesting.
Loved "Bruno" and couldn't wait for this follow-up. Does not disappoint. Highly believable plot line and engaging characters you care about. Mackenzie's delivery is beautifully paced and very well suited to the overall mood of the work. In short, top notch!
This book is more about food and wine than murder and mayhem. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It's refreshing to find a hero that's "gooder than good." And it's enjoyable to get to know the various characters in the village. A bit of love story, a bit of politics, quite a bit of food and wine, all wrapped around a mysterious fire and (maybe) a murder. Fun stuff!
I thoroughly enjoy this series. I note that some complain that the books are slow. Well. Yes. Not a constant edge-of-your-seat thrill. Tension builds in fits and starts.In the meantime, you spend time learning how rural French folks acquire truffles, cook from their gardens, appreciate wines, and keep their small town alive. Yes, there is a murder. The police chief is on the case despite interference from incompetents and danger from the criminals intent on thwarting him by whatever means they can. But mostly, I enjoy the sojourn in a part of France I don't know. The easiest kind of travel.
Narrator was perfect for this story. This isn't a fast paced, heart pounding story, but it was enjoyable and kept my attention. I must say I'm now hooked on the Bruno series. The stories, a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine and I'm good to go.
This is a great series that takes place in a small French village. Why in the world do they have the most British man in the universe narrating it? This book cries out for a narrator with a French accent or at least a neutral accent. The narrator is very good but should not be narrating this particular series. It is so annoying I intend to read the rest of the series instead of listening to it.
Somebody with a French accent.
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.
The second in the series finds Chief Bruno, the sole police officer in the tiny town of Saint-Denis, in the region of Perigord, France investigating the arson of a research facility for genetically altered crops . . . one that was hidden in the French countryside, built with no building permits, paying no taxes and now sabotaged . . . first on the list of suspects are a colony of "environmentalists", a bunch of leftover hippies from the 60s, grown older and calmer and still living off the land and making goat cheese, one of whom is now on the town counsel . . . it becomes a case for the national police, with Bruno assisting . . . the best part, as in the first book, are the tales of the towns folk, the descriptions of the French countryside, of hunting with his dog, Gigi, and the gentle way that Bruno tries his best to protect the citizens who have all become like family to him . . . the scene of hunting the game bird, roasting it and the strange and funny way that the French eat it . . . and it's intestines was one I won't forget . . . the vineyards on the rolling hills, stomping the grapes . . . and the resistance to a big outside company taking over the small family businesses, all became important to me . . . the writing is very atmospheric and mesmerizing . . . all that said, I was more and more suspicious about WHO set the fire, and later WHO would have wanted to kill the beautiful, sweet old man and his son . . . great story (has some sex scenes) . . . great resolution and ending . . . Bravo, Bruno!
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