cover image Death in the Truffle Wood

Death in the Truffle Wood

Pierre Magnan, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (201pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36666-7

First published in 1978, this delightful mystery from French crime writer Magnan (The Murdered House ) brings to life the quirky, earthy peasant culture of the Provence region. One November evening, Roseline, an enormous, truffle-sniffing pig, escapes from her owner, Alyre Morelon, leading him into the woods, where an unseen figure injures the sow and then runs off. When Superintendent Laviolette arrives from Marseille to investigate the disappearance of five young people, Alyre demands his assistance in identifying Roseline's attacker. The overall humorous tone contrasts with a number of grisly incidents, including the discovery of a body in a freezer and a throat-slitting. The author treats village politics as well as the quarrels and liaisons of his marvelous characters with sly wit and compassion. Beautifully translated, this one should win Magnan new U.S. readers. (July)