Black Diamond

Martin Walker. Knopf, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-307-70014-8
Gallic charm suffuses Walker's third mystery of the French countryside (after 2010's The Dark Vineyard). Bruno Courrèges, the engaging do-gooder police chief of St. Denis in the Périgord region, likes to hunt for truffles with his basset hound, Gigi, and his mentor, Hercule, a retired intelligence agent with ties to Southeast Asia. Hercule's savage murder thrusts Bruno into a boiling conflict between France's Vietnamese refugees and the Chinese mob now rapidly surpassing them in France's underworld. Walker deftly seasons this complicated criminal mélange with the multimillion-dollar truffle trade and the rowdy Green threat to St. Denis's traditional way of life, adding savory soupçons of Bruno's romances past (Isabelle of the Police Nationale), present (exotically English Pamela), and possibly future (needy single mother and research chemist Florence). Like the aroma of amateur chef Bruno's venison stew, which virtually leaps off the pages, Walker's unmistakable affection for the "enchanting Périgord" makes every morsel of this cozy–cum–crime novel a savory delight. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-1-84916-123-7
Open Ebook - 193 pages - 978-0-307-70145-9
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4434-0922-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-55468-269-0
Paperback - 297 pages - 978-0-307-74463-0
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