Martin Walker presents his first collection of stories featuring all the familiar characters from his Bruno novels and the glories of the Périgord region of France, with ample helpings of food and wine.
After a prisoner breaks parole to see his son on Christmas, Bruno must track him down before he throws away his chance at eventual freedom. When a Senegalese man’s coffee sells superbly at the market, some café owners become incensed by the new competition and take matters into their own hands. As a Swiss tourist and a St. Denis native fall in love over the fruit-and-veggie stall, one of their family members takes drastic steps to break them up. A fledgling tour bus business is sabotaged, leading Bruno to take a closer look at a town love triangle. Called in to investigate a case of stolen oysters, our beloved policeman reunites with an old flame to catch the shellfish thieves.
In story after story, Bruno settles town disputes, mediates family quarrels, and tracks down lawbreakers in his adored village of St. Denis and its environs. Featured meals in the collection include a fatty Christmas goose, a savory nettle soup with crème fraîche, and a fluffy quiche Lorraine.
Fans of The Coldest Case and Walker's other novels set in the little French market town of St. Denis will savor this inviting story collection featuring Bruno Courr ges, the town's genial chief of police. As St. Denis is in the P rigord, the culinary heartland of France, a thread of gastronomy and bonhomie plays a significant part in all 14 tales. Walker smoothly integrates recipes into the text, beginning with the title story, which finds Bruno throwing together a golden wedding anniversary feast for friends on short notice and includes easy to follow instructions on how to prepare Poulet l'estragon. Prehistoric cooking methods figure in "Boeuf Neanderthal," as Bruno prepares a menu for the Soci t Historique et Arch ologique du P rigord. "The Green Army" describes biodynamic viticultural techniques, and "Sugar Lumps" reveals the proper way to drink absinthe. The area's rich history and traditions are explored at every turn. Any crimes are relatively minor nasty anonymous letters, spates of vandalism and are resolved by cooperation, conviviality, and Bruno's clever intervention. Culinary mystery aficionados won't want to miss this one. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Susanna Lea Agency.