At the heart of French gastronomy lies the famed black truffle of the Périgord. But France's truffles are being adulterated with cheaper ones from China, and it seems that Chinese organised crime is behind the fraud. The third internationally bestselling case for Bruno, Chief of Police.
In St Denis market, a Vietnamese family has been selling their dishes for years, until their stall is wrecked by attackers who look Chinese. Again it appears that organised crime is behind the outrage, firing the opening shots of a Viet-Chinese triad war. When vicious murder, illegal immigration and the importation of underage girls for prostitution are added to the mix, Bruno has his work cut out to keep St Denis from tearing itself apart.
Gallic charm suffuses Walker's third mystery of the French countryside (after 2010's The Dark Vineyard). Bruno Courr ges, the engaging do-gooder police chief of St. Denis in the P rigord region, likes to hunt for truffles with his basset hound, Gigi, and his mentor, Hercule, a retired intelligence agent with ties to Southeast Asia. Hercule's savage murder thrusts Bruno into a boiling conflict between France's Vietnamese refugees and the Chinese mob now rapidly surpassing them in France's underworld. Walker deftly seasons this complicated criminal m lange with the multimillion-dollar truffle trade and the rowdy Green threat to St. Denis's traditional way of life, adding savory soup ons of Bruno's romances past (Isabelle of the Police Nationale), present (exotically English Pamela), and possibly future (needy single mother and research chemist Florence). Like the aroma of amateur chef Bruno's venison stew, which virtually leaps off the pages, Walker's unmistakable affection for the "enchanting P rigord" makes every morsel of this cozy cum crime novel a savory delight.