The real life disappearance of 'the most beautiful car ever made' sparks a compelling new case for Bruno, chief of police
The Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic was called the most beautiful car of all time. Only four of them were ever built. A California museum paid $37 million for one; Ralph Lauren bought another; a third was smashed by a train at a level crossing. The fourth disappeared in France during World War 2. It was the car used by British racing ace, William Grover Williams, twice winner of the French and Monaco Grand Prix, who became an undercover agent in Occupied France.
The latest adventure in the Bruno series of mystery novels starts from this true story. Two young men, both racing drivers with a passion for antique cars, compete to find new clues as to the car's hiding place in the Perigord region of France where Bruno is the local chief of police.
When a local researcher turns up dead on Bruno's patch, and French intelligence starts investigating the use of classic car sales to launder money for funding Islamic terrorism, Bruno finds himself once more caught up in a case that reaches far beyond his small town and its people.
With the bucolic charm and gourmet cooking that are the hallmarks of this series, Bruno's latest adventure finds him falling in love again as he races to find the murderer and to track down the fate of the most beautiful car ever made.
Walker's engaging ninth mystery featuring police chief Bruno Courr ges (after 2015's The Patriarch) finds the residents of St. Denis, France, commemorating their relationship with their Alsatian twin town of Marckolsheim. The festivities, which include a classic car parade and a rally car race, have attracted many tourists, including two men hunting for a priceless Bugatti that vanished during WWII. Bruno is preoccupied with his role as a rally car navigator, until a local historian hired to research the Bugatti is murdered. Mediation of a family feud and surveillance of suspected money launderers compound Bruno's work load, but he still finds time to ride horses, woo attractive women, and consume copious amounts of good food and fine wine. Bruno's day-to-day business occasionally eclipses the plot, but that's hardly cause for complaint given the idyllic picture Walker paints of life in the P rigord region. History buffs, racing fans, and automobile aficionados will find plenty to love, and the mystery is intriguing even if it doesn't fully satisfy.