cover image Bruno’s Cookbook: Recipes and Traditions from a French Country Kitchen

Bruno’s Cookbook: Recipes and Traditions from a French Country Kitchen

Martin Walker and Julia Watson. Knopf Cooks, $40 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-32118-8

Mystery writer Walker (To Kill a Troubadour) joins forces with his wife, food journalist Watson, to share a vivid collection of recipes inspired by the Perigord region of France, where Walker’s Bruno Chief of Police mystery series takes place. Throughout, the authors immerse readers in the series’s fictional town of St. Denis by sharing anecdotes (“Bruno devised this terrine to make use of the Perigord’s other famous treasures: prunes and walnuts,” they write of the duck, pork, prune, and walnut terrine) and even including a short story featuring Bruno. They showcase the diversity of fresh ingredients Perigord has to offer in a red onion tarte tatin, gratin of mussels with parsley and garlic, chicken braised in wine with roasted grapes, and fig frangipane tarts. The authors also share fascinating historical and cultural context, noting that the pot roast chicken Henri IV–style was inspired by the French king who declared that everyone in France should have chicken every Sunday. Home cooks should take note that while all the recipes offer straightforward instructions, some dishes, such as the six-hour leg of lamb with garlic and cream sauce, won’t come together quickly, and others, like flambéed langoustines, require advanced cooking techniques. Still, series fans and ambitious home cooks will find plenty to savor. Agent: Caroline Wood, Felicity Bryan Assoc. (Nov.)