cover image To Kill a Troubadour: A Bruno Chief of Police Novel

To Kill a Troubadour: A Bruno Chief of Police Novel

Martin Walker. Knopf, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-31979-6

An international incident propels Walker’s taut 15th novel featuring Bruno Courrèges, the chief of police of the small French town of St. Denis (after 2021’s The Coldest Case). A week before Périgord folk band Les Troubadours is scheduled to perform in St. Denis, their new hit, Song for Catalonia, is banned by the Spanish government for encouraging the Catalan region to continue pushing for independence from Spain. The situation escalates exponentially with the spread of fake news on Spanish social media linked to Russia’s campaign to stir up divisions in Europe. The musicians’ website and Twitter feeds are soon overflowing with hateful comments and even death threats. Bruno begins to suspect that the song’s composer may be a target for terrorists when the band performs in his town. Smoothly integrated into Bruno’s investigation is information on a multitude of subjects, from medieval musical instruments to Ukrainian history, plus easy-to-follow recipes such as the British classic Coronation Chicken and Bruno’s Gazpacho. Good food, fascinating history, and a crackerjack mystery: who could ask for more? Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Susanna Lea Agency. (Aug.)