Black Diamond: A Mystery of the French Countryside
Vintage, 2012 (2011)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
he sleepy little village of St. Denis is abruptly woken up by attacks on Vietnamese vendors, arson at a local Asian restaurant and subpar truffles from China.
ruffles are a big business in St. Denis. Local truffle hunters have trained dogs rather than the legendary pigs. Not as destructive. Trees are planted with truffle spores; the planters know that they just have to sit and wait for results. Big, big business. Truffles command high, astronomical prices.
ho is attacking the Asians? As if that weren't enough, there is another problem. The local sawmill, the largest employer in the area, has shut down because the owner refuses to go green!
man who was considered a hero, a former high-profile intelligence agent, is brutally murdered. Along with his dog! What has happened to this charming village that attracts so many euro-spending tourists?
runo, the police chief, takes on the problems and becomes a hero himself. He recognizes the demise of the saw mill will cause great difficulties for the residents and the substitution of inferior truffles for good ones will ruin the village's reputation for purveying good quality ones.
bonus to the mystery is the telling of a fine meal prepared by Bruno that made me want to sit at a table, utensils in hand, waiting for my portion.
by Martin Walker is the third in his Bruno series. I have to admit, I have not read the first two, but intend to remedy that omission very soon. Well worth a read.
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