MYSTERY

The Body in the Castle Well

Knopf. (Bruno, Chief of Police, Bk. 12). Jun. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780525519980. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780525519997. M
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In the 12th outing for Walker’s Chief Bruno, (after A Taste for Vengeance) we find him enjoying his small-town life in southwest France. Busily planning the town’s summer events, he is called away to look for a missing American graduate student who didn’t return home from a lecture at the local hilltop castle ruins–turned–park. It’s Bruno who notices the cover is missing from the well being repaired and who goes down to look. The deceased young woman was studying French Renaissance art with the famous local art historian, who had been crippled as a Resistance member during the war by a collaborator. Her father is also close friends with the U.S. president, so Bruno and his colleagues receive a lot more scrutiny than usual. Yet he still finds time while solving the murder to plan a Josephine Baker tribute concert, learn about falconry, exercise his horse and basset hound, and cook regional dishes such as a red onion tarte tatin and a navarin of lamb. He also enjoys time with friends and inspects the fine local wines and the famous pate de Perigueux.
VERDICT This will satisfy fans of the series, and also those who enjoy intricate mysteries in unique settings with plenty of local details.

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