When a local's troubling death is linked to a Russian oligarch and his multinational conglomerate, Bruno faces one of his toughest cases yet, one that brings together a French notary and a rock star--and, of course, Bergerac red and white.
It's summer in the Dordogne. The heirs of a Périgordian sheep farmer learn that they have been disinherited, and their father's estate sold to an insurance company in return for a policy that will place him in a five-star retirement home for the rest of his life. But the farmer never gets his life of luxury--he dies before moving in. Was it a natural death? Was there foul play? Bruno begins the investigation that leads him to several shadowy insurance companies owned by a Russian oligarch with a Cypriot passport. The companies are based in Cyprus, Malta, and Luxembourg, but Bruno finds a weak spot in France: the Russian's France-based notaire and insurance agent. As Bruno is pursuing this lead, the oligarch's daughter turns up in the Périgord, and complications ensue, eventually bringing the action to the château of an aging rock star. But, as ever, Bruno makes time for lunch amid it all.
In Walker's outstanding 13th outing for St. Denis, France, chief of police Beno t "Bruno" Courr ges (after 2019's The Body in the Castle Well), 70ish retired rock star Rod Macrae, his much younger wife, and their college-age children, Jamie and Kirsty, are spending a last summer together at their country house, Ch teau Rock, before the parents amicably divorce. Jamie is joined by his girlfriend, Galina, a Russian oligarch's daughter. When a sheep farmer dies and his children learn that they've been disinherited, Bruno investigates. He soon suspects there's a connection between the farmer's suspicious death and Galina's father, whose shadowy shell businesses may be a cover for illicit activity throughout the Mediterranean and the E.U. Meanwhile, the obliging Bruno helps plan and prepare meals, teaches children to swim, and considers breeding his pedigree hunting dog. Francophiles will relish the evocative descriptions of the P rigord region and its cuisine. Distinctive characters complement the intricate mystery. Readers new to this elegant series will feel right at home.