cover image The Patriarch: A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel

The Patriarch: A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel

Martin Walker. Knopf, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-35417-2

In Walker’s delicious eighth mystery featuring Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges (after The Children Return), the police chief of St. Denis, a tiny commune in the south of France, has cause to doubt his lifelong worship of Col. Jean-Marc Desaix (aka the Patriarch), who was decorated by both de Gaulle and Stalin for his services as a fighter pilot on the Russian front during WWII. When Gilbert Clamartin, a former air attaché to Moscow, dies under suspicious circumstances on the estate of Clamartin’s revered friend, the Patriarch, it is kept very hush-hush. “Accidental death” is the official line, but Bruno isn’t so sure. When little things don’t add up, he begins an informal investigation. Before long, decades of Franco-Russian politics raise the stakes, and authorities from Paris get involved. This entry is sure to delight readers who relish a skillful blend of complex international political nuance and pastoral intrigue mixed with a soupçon of fine French wine and cuisine. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Felicity Bryan Associates. (Aug.)