cover image A Grave in the Woods: A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel

A Grave in the Woods: A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel

Martin Walker. Knopf, $29 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-53662-9

Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges returns to cook for his friends and keep the French town of St. Denis safe in Walker’s leisurely latest outing for the food-loving police chief (after A Château Under Siege). Back at home after convalescing from a gunshot wound sustained on his previous case, Bruno learns that human remains—two German women and an Italian man—have just been unearthed on the grounds of an abandoned hotel. Forensic analysis dates the bodies to WWII, and Bruno enlists the help of Abby Howard, a recently divorced American archaeologist visiting St. Denis, to find out more. Complicating matters is Abby’s ex-husband, computer whiz Gary Barone, who’s harassing her for her settlement money and attempting to hack the police department’s computer system, potentially as part of an international blockchain conspiracy. Meanwhile, climate change–induced floods threaten St. Denis’s infrastructure, pulling Bruno’s focus away from his and Abby’s inquiry. As usual, Walker peppers the action with long, chatty dinner scenes and detailed digressions about European history. Series fans will get just what they came for. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Susanna Lea Assoc. (Sept.)