The Crowded Grave
A Mystery of the French Countryside
By Martin Walker
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307700193, 336pp.)
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Another delectable serving of mystery and the pleasures of the Dordogne from the newest master of suspense, Martin Walker.
It’s spring in the idyllic village of St. Denis, and for Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges that means lamb stews, bottles of his beloved Pomerol, morning walks with his hound, Gigi—and a new string of regional crimes and international capers. When a local archaeological team looking for Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal remains turns up a corpse with a watch on its wrist and a bullet in its head, it’s up to Bruno to solve the case. But the task will not be easy, not with a meddlesome new magistrate eager to make a strong impression, an ongoing series of attacks by animal rights activists on local foie gras producers, and a nearby summit between France and Spain approaching—not to mention two beautiful, brilliant women vying for Bruno’s affections.
Complicating events even further, the professor in charge of the dig is soon reported missing, leading Bruno to suspect that the past and the present are bound up in dangerous ways. As summer approaches, the wine growing cooler and the fruit sweeter, Bruno's investigations take him indelibly deeper into contemporary Europe’s dark history of terrorist and counterterrorist tactics—and toward a dramatic finale.
As savory as foie gras, as piquant as vin de noix, and as richly complex as the region’s truffles, The Crowded Grave is a feast for mystery lovers and Francophiles alike.
MARTIN WALKER is senior director of the Global Business Policy Council, a private think tank for CEOs of major corporations, based in Washington, D.C. He is also editor in chief emeritus and an international affairs columnist at United Press International. His three previous novels in the Bruno series are Bruno, Chief of Police; The Dark Vineyard; and Black Diamond. He lives in Washington, D.C., and the Dordogne.
“The small towns where Martin Walker sets his enchanting country mysteries embody the sublime physical beauty and intractable political problems of the Dordogne region of France.” –The New York Times Book Review
“In Martin Walker’s delightful series about Bruno, chief of police in a small Dordogne village, the charm of rural France is regularly disrupted—but not too much.” –Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
“A lighthearted celebration of the Périgord region of France . . . [with a] prevailing atmosphere of dappled sunlight and good food and wine and friends. A pleasure for Francophiles, oenophiles, and the palate.” —Booklist
“Another delicious romp through a French menu garnished with politics.” —Kirkus
“Appealing . . . Walker hits the sweet spot of balancing humor and drama, and his food descriptions will leave readers fantasizing about dining in the Périgord.” —Publishers Weekly