cover image The Missing Corpse: A Brittany Mystery

The Missing Corpse: A Brittany Mystery

Jean-Luc Bannalec, trans. from the German by Sorcha McDonagh. Minotaur, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-17336-2

Bannalec’s droll fourth Brittany mystery (after 2018’s The Fleur de Sel Murders) finds Commissaire Georges Dupin, who’s been banished from a Parisian post to “the end of the world,” set to attend a required seminar whose topic is “Conducting Systematic and Systemic Conversations in Investigative Situations.” Fortunately, he’s able to skip the seminar after receiving a call that sends him to the banks of the Belon River, where a corpse has been discovered. By the time Dupin arrives at the crime scene, the unidentified body has disappeared. Then another body turns up that’s quickly linked to the first, elusive victim. A handful of suspects are all connected to Port Belon’s world famous oyster industry. Subplots include the theft of crucial beach sand and an uptick in Dupin’s love life. Bannalec’s easy, digressive, but occasionally plodding narrative touches on Breton culture, from druids to bagpipe bands. The usual food obsessions and Parisian fish-out-of-water tropes become more amusing with each installment, making Dupin something of a contemporary provincial Poirot. (Apr.)