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Black Diamond

A Mystery of the French Countryside
Narrated by: Robert Ian MacKenzie
Series: Bruno, Chief of Police, Book 3
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (383 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Martin Walker’s previous two novels starring Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges became hits with fans and critics around the globe. In this thrilling third mystery, Bruno has his hands full with trouble in the truffle trade in St. Denis’ marketplace. And when a friend is murdered, things really start heating up.

©2010 Walker and Watson Ltd (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Walker’s bucolic mysteries offer a gentle reminder to slow down and smell the grapes.” ( New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent series...one small quibble

I've thoroughly enjoyed the 3 titles in this series so far. They're well written with likeable characters, and the plots are not obvious. The reader, Robert Ian MacKenzie, is, for the most part, spot on, but I feel that his characterization of the character of Pamela, described as an elegant British horsewoman and landowner, who is one of Bruno's romantic interests, is so off-base that I find it hard to listen. MacKenzie makes her sound like one of the laughable dowagers from a "Wallace and Gromit" episode, divesting her of any of the warmth and attractiveness which supposedly draws Bruno to her. Other than that, an excellent series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging action, great characters/sense of place!

Bruno Courrèges is the Chief of Police (indeed, the only policeman) in the small, fictional town of St. Denis, located in the rural Périgord region of France. A lovely small town where everybody knows each other would seem the unlikeliest spot on earth for murderous crimes to occur. But they do, often bringing in more high intelligence concerns than might be imagined for such a quiet spot.

In this book, Bruno is faced with managing trouble between Chinese and Vietnamese gangs, with roots leading back to the time before the war. There is also something strange taking place in the lucrative truffle market, and Bruno has to handle both situations at once. As often happens in these books, the trouble is not just an upset between neighbors, but rather arises from a greater and older piece of French history.

The people are richly and beautifully drawn, and through them, we sense the character of people living a lifestyle that feels threatened by in the incursion of modern government oversight and regulations. But when the need arises, Bruno is very capable of shifting from small town policeman (think American Andy Griffith) to capably working hand in hand with the more sophisticated levels of police and intelligence communities. After which, he always comes home to his modest house, his cooking, loving, and community involvement.

This is just a wonderful series, and the narration is superb! I only wish there were more of them. It sure makes me wish I cook book a trip to southwest France to see the area from which these stories arise. I so very much recommend them to anyone intrigued with stories that evoke a brilliant sense of location and people!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Weakest of the 3

If you’ve listened to books by Martin Walker before, how does this one compare?

My least favorite

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

The ending was like a soap opera and it felt as if the author rushed to finish/tie up all the loose ends...and the last few lines were really (I hate to say it) sappy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this author

Martin Walkers series makes you want to move to St Denis, despite the murders. I love the descriptions of the meals Bruno prepares and the characters are great. Robert Ian McKenzie’s performance is wonderful.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun and Engaging

Another delightful mystery romp with Bruno. Delicious food and wine, creepy bad guys and subplots aplenty.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Liv
  • Durham, NC
  • 07-26-16

Slow start but overall good

I almost gave up on this novel. It is the first Martin Walker book I've read so I hadn't read the others in the series. It's slow to start, almost like the beginnings of a painting where the author sets the scene and atmosphere for quite a while but if you keep reading you get a full and interesting picture once things get going. Now that I've read another, the characters are engaging and keep me reading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Martin Walker does it again. He creates interesting characters and a well thought out plot. History, good food, and a feel for the countryside makes for a great read. Bruno is an honorable and decent human being who always strives to do the right thing. He has his faults but always manages to rise above them. You will fall in love with him.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So glad to have found Bruno

This is my first exposure to Bruno of Perigord. I have actually been to this area, and still the detail was enlightening and compelling. A modern-day mystery with modern day stakes nevertheless rooted in the past. I look forward to another yarn with Bruno, if for no other reason than for the cooking sequences. Educational on so many levels!

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Black Diamond Truffles

I love this series! Walker writes women brilliantly. I enjoy the complexity of the characters and the mysteries.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful