Black Diamond

Black Diamond

Book - 2011
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France's Périgord region is the home of the exquisite "black diamond" truffle, and at five thousand euros a kilo, it's a treasured local asset. When reports come in that this unique delicacy is being adulterated with a cheaper Chinese version, Bruno is asked to investigate. Is organized crime behind the gastronomic swindle?

In the St. Denis market, a Vietnamese family runs a popular stall selling their country's dishes, until one day it is overturned and wrecked by attackers who appear to be Chinese. Bruno wonders if these are the opening shots of an Asian gang war. When Hercule, a friend of Bruno's and former top-level military man, is found brutally murdered, things start to look more complex still, as past and present converge around historical wounds connected to France's clandestine involvement in Algeria and Indo-China. The investigation also complicates Bruno's romantic life by bringing back to town his one-time flame Isabelle, an ambitious Paris-based police inspector.

As Bruno seeks to unravel the mystery, Black Diamond once again immerses us in the irresistible atmosphere of rural France, with all its charm, personalities and delectable wine and cuisine, while also opening a window onto the more mysterious and unsavoury side of France's colonial history--and the potentially deadly contemporary consequences.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2011.
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9781554682683
Characteristics: 297 pages : map ; 24 cm.

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h
hikerhi
Dec 15, 2019

This is #3 in the series, need to search for #2 The Dark Vineyard

c
captbligh
Apr 24, 2017

The series keeps getting better.

r
Rubicat
Apr 16, 2017

Another winner about Bruno, chief of police. Although each of these books is very well written and extremely interesting, I have a comment - each of Mr. Walker's books that i have read has its roots in the past - the Algerian war or WWII. I am in awe of Mr. Walker's research abilities and really appreciate learning about history of which I was ignorant, I wonder if any of his books have their basis in the present. This is NOT a complaint, merely an observation. Anyway, I really enjoyed this entry into the Bruno Courreges series - Bruno is an exceptional person and a great policeman who has terrific skills and an intuitive investigative style that leads to solutions of his town's mysteries. He seems to be beloved and respected by all his contemporaries. I would sure love to live in his town and be one of his friends. I will be VERY sad when I have read all the books in this series.

i
Ireadalot2
Oct 06, 2014

Wonderful story of life in rural France with a history lesson thrown in. Bruno has a murder to solve but he still doesn't shirk his small town duties, and the man can cook.

m
maipenrai
Aug 25, 2014

*** 1/2 During the early pages of Black Diamond, readers unfamiliar with Martin Walker's French policeman, Bruno Courreges, would be forgiven for thinking that they had stumbled into a set of Peter Mayle charactrs. The genial police inspector loves to cook hearty dishes laced with the truffles he's found in the woods. There is the mad English woman whom he is dating. Walker's characters seem at first to be familiar types, and his evocation of rural France comforting. As the only policeman in St Denis, Courreges is responsible for everything from crowd control to charity collections. So investigating rumors about a truffle scam in the local market while trying to find out who has attacked a Vietnamese family's stall is more or less business as usual. This bucolic town lulls the reader into a sense of security. Because of this it all the more shocking when one of Courreges's friendds is found brutally murdered. In discovering why his friend has been killed in such a cruel way, Courreges has to piece together unsavoury facts from France's colonial past, and call on his contacts in the Secret Service. As he realises that there was more to his friend than he ever thought possible, so it dawns on the reader that Courreges is no bumbling plod but a keen investigator. **** I really enjoyed this mystery and am looking forward to reading more books in this series. I did not realize that this is #3 in the series, so I want to go back to the beginning. Very enjoyable, especially if you are a Francophile.

s
sandraperkins
Jan 26, 2013

This series by Martin Walker is excellent. The characters are interesting, the plots are clever, and the descriptions of small town France are wonderful!

d
Dub
Mar 26, 2012

An excellent, easy read. Character development and plot are good but it is the French countryside and snippets of culture that tantalize the reader.

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