When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in the idyllic village in the south of France that Bruno Courrèges calls home, the chief of police is quickly on the case. Monika Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British general, is unreachable. Not long after Bruno discovers that Monika was traveling with a mysterious Irishman with a background in intelligence, the two turn up dead. Was she running away? How much does her husband really know? Meanwhile, the star of the girls’ rugby team is pregnant, jeopardizing her chances of being named to the French national squad. Bruno’s search for the truth in both cases leads him in some unexpected directions—but as ever, he and his friends find time along the way to savor the culinary delights of the region.
Bruno Courr ges, the police chief of the Dordogne village of St. Denis, goes looking for English tourist Monika Felder after she fails to show up for a cooking class in Walker's entertaining 11th series mystery (after 2017's The Templars' Last Secret). Bruno learns that Monika, who left her husband back in England, was traveling with Patrick McBride, an Irishman with a house in the area. Monika turns up at the house, fatally stabbed in the bathroom; McBride's body is found hanging from a tree in the nearby woods. What at first appears to be a murder-suicide proves to be a double homicide involving more than one killer and with links to a multimillion-dollar theft in Iraq and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The efficient Bruno also manages to help one of the women's rugby players he's coached since childhood sort out some serious problems, run through some favorite Dordogne recipes while teaching a cooking class, and continue his on-again, off-again romance with a former colleague. Walker's formula for regional crime fiction still appeals, though this outing's global elements are something of a stretch.