Thursday, November 21, 2013

Charming French Countryside Setting for a Delightful Mystery

Bruno: Chief of Police

This tale is the first in a series of five mysteries set in a rural French village. Bruno is a perfect gentleman and he is the only police officer in his tiny hamlet but to all its citizens he is considered the Chief of Police. Bruno is adept at playing tennis and teaches the young boys in town on the public court, he kisses each member of the neighborhood on both cheeks as he meets them shopping in the open air market, he is a surrogate parent for the youngsters in town, is an accomplished cook, and is sweet on his hound dog, and an officer brought in from Paris to help with the investigation.

This tale will appeal to those who like cozy mysteries but it will also appeal to those wanting an edgier story. The mystery in the story revolves around an elderly North African Muslim male who was killed and had a swastika carved into his chest. The book is in no ways gory but it is, of course, a heinous crime. The local right wing political group is suspected of the crime including one of Bruno’s beloved young people. The search delves into the dark period of French history revolving around World War II. The author has many international connections with UPI and academic affiliations as well and it shows.

You will fall in love with Bruno and his quaint village. It is a very timely book pitting nationalists against “foreigners.’ Give Bruno a try! I listened to the book on audio and the accents were appealing and authentic. That makes it easier for someone who knows little about the French language to get the pronunciations correct. The Peachtree Corners book club really enjoyed this title!

 Review by Kathleen Richardson

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