This is my first reading of Martin Walker and I like his work so far. After a career as foreign correspondent, editor, etc. Walker has taken to writing fiction, or rather taken to writing more fiction, having first published fiction in 1978, just a year after his first non-fiction book The National Front.
The NF appears in this first of the Bruno series begun in 2008. In fact, that right wing political group has some of it’s members arrested after they start a small riot in in Bruno’s town of some 3,000 people. They were protesting the town’s support of a murdered Algerian winner of the Croix de Guerre.
If you want to jump right into the murder, be warned that it does not occur until chapter 5. Meanwhile, we get to know Bruno, the town of St. Denis, and the surrounding territory. We also get to sit down and eat a great deal of French country cooking. The murder brings in too much brass from Paris and threatens the economy by scaring away the tourists. In the end, the murder is solved but not in a way you would expect. Talk about plot twists.
Mr. Walker has been honored by the people of the Bordeaux region and he officially represents their wines at competitions. I did not find the town of St. Denis on the map, but most other geographical notations are there.