Knopf, Aug 30 2011, $24.95
In quiet quaint St. Denis, France, Police Chief Bruno Courrèges and his companion Gigi the basset hound enjoy searching for truffles. Sometimes Bruno’s investigative teacher Hercule the retired intelligence agent join the pair.
However, lately the Perigord village has seen a rise in violent crimes related to the multimillion dollar truffle trade. Attacks on Vietnamese vendors and arson at an Asian restaurant shake the tranquility. Additionally rumors fly that substandard Chinese truffles were flooding the market place. Finally, someone brutally murders Hercule. Bruno investigates with leads taking him to the deadly convergence of Vietnamese French and Chinese immigrants.
The third Bruno French police procedural (see Bruno, Chief of Police and The Dark Vineyard) is a delightful whodunit in which readers will smell the aroma of the food in what in some ways is a cozy as the chief investigates the crime wave. Bruno is superb as he tastes and drinks his way through a wide variety of starred restaurants related to the case. Entertaining Martin Walker toasts the Perigord region (see The Caves of Perigord) with this fine timely whodunit as Bruno learns the trouble with truffles is not trifling.