counter create hit Bruno, Chief of Police - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Bruno, Chief of Police

Availability: Ready to download

The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police. Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police. Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life -- living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest. Because of the case's potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man's past, Bruno's suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history -- World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.


Compare
Ads Banner

The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police. Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police. Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life -- living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest. Because of the case's potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man's past, Bruno's suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history -- World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.

30 review for Bruno, Chief of Police

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Great detective novel! WELCOME TO ST. DENIS This is the first book, introducing the character of “Bruno”, who’s proper name is Benoît Courrèges, and he is the Chief of Police, in a small town named St. Denis, set in the región of Périgord, France. St. Denis has been a town so calm that he rarely carries his service gun, and he doesn’t have any deputies. Bruno is close friend of the town’s mayor, and St. Denis is of those towns where everybody knows everybody. However, their relaxed ambiance Great detective novel! WELCOME TO ST. DENIS This is the first book, introducing the character of “Bruno”, who’s proper name is Benoît Courrèges, and he is the Chief of Police, in a small town named St. Denis, set in the región of Périgord, France. St. Denis has been a town so calm that he rarely carries his service gun, and he doesn’t have any deputies. Bruno is close friend of the town’s mayor, and St. Denis is of those towns where everybody knows everybody. However, their relaxed ambiance is suddenly shaken when the grandfather of a very known family (from Argelian and Arabic ethnics) is found dead, and not just dead but mutilated and with a Nazi swastika carved in his chest, along with the dissapearance of a French military medal given to the grandfather and an old rugby team photo. The Gendarmerie garrison is immediately called for assistance, along with the Police Nationale (in France, there are at least three key police branches, and each respond to different ministries, so you can bet that many times, it results in a mess of jurisdictions). The peaceful rutiny of St. Denis is soon turned into a socio-political war zone, with the involment of radical political parties’ members. Moreover, government officials from Paris are doing pressure that that nasty crime has to be solved fast, making worse the situation sending a public prosecutor more interested to find a culprit (any culprit) than respecting the civic rights of St. Denis’ inhabitants. While the investigation falls into the Gendarmerie and the Police Nationale, the Mayor pulled rank to keep Bruno, right in the middle of things, as his personal liaison, and in this way, not only Bruno can do his own investigation, but also he can give his personal advice and knowledge about the townspeople to the Gendarmerie regional head and the beautiful special inspector assigned to the case, but above all, to keep St. Denis as it was before as possible. Bruno soon will discover that he didn’t know everybody as well as he used to think, that past always catches up with present, and that sometimes justice and peacekeeping aren’t synonymous, if you want to keep together a town. The book not only has a gripping narrative style but also the author gives to the reader a deep (real deep!) knowledge about how things are done in France in several fields, its current socio-political idiosyncrasies, but also about France’s history (especially during WWII, but also other military conflicts), even history facts quite obscure that the majority of people (even in France) don’t know about that very country. Bon appetit!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    Bruno (real name Benoît Courrèges), chief of police, is a complex man, with an agreeable personality, has a sense of humor, a fierce loyalty to his village- St Denis, with 3000 inhabitants-and a keen nose for detail. He has empathy and guts, patience and understanding. Above all, he is a beloved, but also a seriously underestimated policeman. The rugby team is much more than a sports team; Bruno's loyalty demands that the village market is protected against the E.U. hygiene inspectors; children Bruno (real name Benoît Courrèges), chief of police, is a complex man, with an agreeable personality, has a sense of humor, a fierce loyalty to his village- St Denis, with 3000 inhabitants-and a keen nose for detail. He has empathy and guts, patience and understanding. Above all, he is a beloved, but also a seriously underestimated policeman. The rugby team is much more than a sports team; Bruno's loyalty demands that the village market is protected against the E.U. hygiene inspectors; children needs to be trained in tennis and yes, rugby. It's quite elementary my dear Watson: if he gets to know them as five-year-olds, he will know how to handle them as teenagers. More importantly, they will get to know their police chief and reconsider their wicket activities later in their lives. Then there is the village parades to be organized and the enjoyment of the obligatory leisurely lunches afterwards. That is, when he doesn't cook, can, or bake his own food. When an old, respected war hero, Hamid al-Bakr, is brutally murdered, and his exsanguinated body is found by his grandson, the quirky inhabitants all become suspects. Revolt is threatening. The tourism industry is in danger. The politicians are nervous. The swastika carved onto the victims torso takes the high profile investigation team to a dark place in French history where old sins breed fresh heartbreak This is the first Martin Walker that I have read and it was an entertaining, adventurous, informative, dramatic, and excellent read. His writing style of bringing serious issues, really dark history and daily experiences to the table, without a neurotic, dark undercurrant, works in his favor, in my book at least. The richness of the French countryside, the cultures, people, politics, geography and everything as French as it possibly can get, is splashed out over the sinister murder case. The ending simply celebrates Viva La France! In this quiet village, all events are handled differently. "... there were some problems beyond human solution, but none beyond human kindness." If all his books is like this one, he will be the number one crime-series writer in my book, with my sincere apologize to Louise Penny, but that's just how it is.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.75* of five I really enjoy BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE, review at my blog, because a veteran gets a job, loves his town, cherishes his way of life, educates the local kids, and solves a crime...and remains a good guy throughout. The antithesis of noir, so be warned/encouraged! Rating: 3.75* of five I really enjoy BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE, review at my blog, because a veteran gets a job, loves his town, cherishes his way of life, educates the local kids, and solves a crime...and remains a good guy throughout. The antithesis of noir, so be warned/encouraged!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is the first book in the 'Bruno, Chief of Police' series. Benoit Courreges, Chief of Police of St. Denis, France, is known as Bruno to everyone in the tight little community. Bruno loves the town and tries to ensure that the local traditions are not disturbed by pesky regulations from the European Union. Bruno turns a blind eye (and even helps the scofflaws), for example, when health inspectors who would ban some homemade goods from the weekly market are held up due to slashed tires or potato This is the first book in the 'Bruno, Chief of Police' series. Benoit Courreges, Chief of Police of St. Denis, France, is known as Bruno to everyone in the tight little community. Bruno loves the town and tries to ensure that the local traditions are not disturbed by pesky regulations from the European Union. Bruno turns a blind eye (and even helps the scofflaws), for example, when health inspectors who would ban some homemade goods from the weekly market are held up due to slashed tires or potatoes in their exhaust pipes. Though St. Denis has a mixed population of native French men and women as well as Algerians and other foreigners, people get along and there is little serious crime. Thus Bruno has plenty of time to socialize, play tennis, teach tennis to youngsters, follow the local rugby team, make his own wine and paté, garden, and so on. Then one day an Algerian grandfather is found brutally murdered in his cabin, a swastika carved into his chest and his medal of honor and a treasured photo missing. Members of the right-wing National Front, a political party that opposes immigration, immediately rise to the top of the suspect list. Given the background between France and Algeria - as well as some anti-immigration sentiment - the investigation is politically sensitive. Thus big-wig detectives and officials are sent to St. Denis to take over the inquiry. Bruno has invaluable local knowledge however, and - with the help of some acquaintances - is instrumental in uncovering important clues. Along the way Bruno has a romance, plays tennis doubles, has a delicious English meal prepared by two British ladies, drinks a good deal of wine and champagne, has a unique picnic, and so on. The author skillfully weaves the wonderful ambiance of St. Denis into the story, and the reader is simultaneously charmed by the town and intrigued by the murder investigation. The story is full of interesting characters, including an Algerian math teacher and his family, two patriotic World War II veterans who haven't spoken for thirty years, mischievous children, hard-partying/drug-dealing teenagers, attractive ladies, political operatives, gendarmes, and more. The murder investigation uncovers some interesting aspects of French/Algerian history while driving the story forward at a steady clip. All in all a very enjoyable cozy mystery, highly recommended. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tim The Enchanter

    Posted to The Literary Lawyer.ca A Wonderful Surprise - 5 Stars When I was looking for a book to read, I picked a number and randomly chose this one. I have no idea how it came to my attention or how it ended up on my list. Judging by the cover and description alone, this is not one I would normally pick up. If you simply look at these two things you will expect to read a cozy mystery but that is simply not the case. While the setting is quaint and the characters colorful, this is not a si Posted to The Literary Lawyer.ca A Wonderful Surprise - 5 Stars When I was looking for a book to read, I picked a number and randomly chose this one. I have no idea how it came to my attention or how it ended up on my list. Judging by the cover and description alone, this is not one I would normally pick up. If you simply look at these two things you will expect to read a cozy mystery but that is simply not the case. While the setting is quaint and the characters colorful, this is not a simple light mystery. Plot Outline The story centers around the small French commune of St. Denis and their Municipal police officer, Bruno. Bruno is no simple small town cop. He is connected closely with the mayor and has a complex history with a history of service to France. He spends his days dealing with minor issues and helping resolve them while looking out for the good of his community. The sleepy café town is rocked when an elderly war hero is brutally murdered in his rural cabin. Not only is he a war hero but he was also an Algerian Muslim and the fears of the mass immigration from Muslim countries is stoked. As the mystery unfolds, dark secrets are exposed and Bruno's resolve is tested and he faces what is best for his town and what the law requires. My Thoughts A spectacular introduction to the author. I have never been one for "cozy" mysteries but after years of reading crime mysteries that have become progressively darker, it is such a relief to find a mature and compelling mystery with excellent sense of place and colorful characters. While there is extensive discussion on the qualities of French wine and the review of the pleasant formalities of a small French café town, the novel is never cute or silly. The fact is, the novel deals with some serious issues of racism, fears related to immigration and years of French policy and war. While this is not gritty as other small town crime mysteries, i.e. Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series, it is not akin to a mystery such as "The Long Quiche Goodbye" or some other novel with a cutesy name. For myself, the sense of setting was a major draw in this book. The author went to great lengths to make the town a character in the story with its own personality, feelings and history. The ability to create this quaint feelings and than bring real concerns such as murder and racism into this idyllic setting was expertly done. Although I may be repeating myself, I enjoyed the balance between the quaint and the gritty. The result was a wonderful reading experience. If you only want to read about gruesome serial murders or only want dark and grisly world of authors such as Mo Hayder, you may not enjoy this. If you want to read about a place you would like to visit and competent people to face the serious business that fall upon them, this is the novel for you. In my opinion, this strikes the perfect balance between entertaining mystery and wonderful setting while exposing us to many colorful characters. At the time of writing this, I am already reading the third in the series and will continue to read on. I highly recommend this one and suggest you give it a try! Can this one stand alone Yes. It is the first book of the series. Sex - 2.5 There are a few sex scenes but they are not explicit. Bruno is relatively young and unmarried. He is not adverse to adult relationships. The characters often find themselves commenting on the qualities of the women but again, it is not explicit. Language There is mild use of language throughout. Some of the language is French and I only assume they are swearing. It is hard to be offended if you don't know what they are saying! Violence - 2.5 There main storyline focus around a murder in the town. It is moderately graphic. There is some discussion of horrors of war and some elements of racism. There is some fisticuffs but nothing too graphic in that regard.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Benoît Courrèges (otherwise known as Bruno) is Chief of Police in the sleepy, well behaved little French town of St Denis in the Périgord region. He runs a tight ship but has a laissez faire attitude to rules he thinks over-bureaucratic - such as the regulations the EU tries to impose on the villagers farm made cheeses and patés that they have been selling in the markets for generations. The peace of Bruno's town is shattered by the gruesome death of an elderly grandfather from an Algerian famil Benoît Courrèges (otherwise known as Bruno) is Chief of Police in the sleepy, well behaved little French town of St Denis in the Périgord region. He runs a tight ship but has a laissez faire attitude to rules he thinks over-bureaucratic - such as the regulations the EU tries to impose on the villagers farm made cheeses and patés that they have been selling in the markets for generations. The peace of Bruno's town is shattered by the gruesome death of an elderly grandfather from an Algerian family. His war medal from the French Government and an old rugby team photo are the only things taken by the killers. The investigation is soon taken over by the Gendarmerie and an officious prosecutor and (very attractive female) Inspector are sent from the National Police with Bruno having to step back and play an advisory role. The murder appears to be politically motivated and the police focus on the radical political parties in the area, however Bruno believes the murder may have it's roots deep in the past. I enjoyed this well written opening episode in this series and hope to visit st Denis again soon. Bruno is a wonderful character with a strong moral sense of justice and a preference for doing what he feels is right rather than strictly following the rules. He has a lot of female admirers and soon strikes up a romance with the attractive female Inspector assigned to the case. There are a lot of events that require special meals or an apertif of glass of wine so don't be surprised if you develop a hankering for a nice French cheese or paté with a piece of crusty bread and a glass of wine while reading this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This book had three things going for it. One was the setting. The reader gets a very good feel for the small village of St. Denis, and by extension can probably better appreciate the tempo and undercurrents in any small village, no matter where located in the world. Another was the history from the WW II era, interconnected with immigration issues, which of course are very relevant today. And, finally, it had a good plot and plot twists along the way. I saw two problems with the book. One was the This book had three things going for it. One was the setting. The reader gets a very good feel for the small village of St. Denis, and by extension can probably better appreciate the tempo and undercurrents in any small village, no matter where located in the world. Another was the history from the WW II era, interconnected with immigration issues, which of course are very relevant today. And, finally, it had a good plot and plot twists along the way. I saw two problems with the book. One was the dialogue in many cases. It seemed awkward and stilted and it also seemed to aim for your typical 14 year old reader. I didn't think that was very well done. The other was that the main charcter, Bruno, or should I say, St. Bruno, has basically nothing wrong with him. A war hero, a great cook, a wine connoisseur, great with kids, kisses from all the women in the village, handshakes from all the men when he makes his rounds, an extraordinary handyman, etc. About the only weakness indicated is perhaps a need for a stronger backhand during his matches at the local tennis club. That all makes him more of a saccharine figure than an interesting or memorable character. He is also the only investigator in the book who, despite colleagues who are equally committed and in many cases more experienced,comes up with all the brilliant deductions and observations (even though many of them are fairly obvious ones). Putting all the above together, I still enjoyed the book, but I think it could have been much better. Perhaps things will move in that direction as this series progresses (?).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This quick and delightful read probably merits only 4 or 4.5 stars because Bruno and his world are almost too perfect. Andy Griffith and Mayberry came to mind more than once. But nothing from Aunt Bea's kitchen could rival the gastronomic pleasures enjoyed by the lucky residents of St. Denis, a tiny hamlet tucked into the Perigord region of southwest France. The descriptions of the food and the landscape were irresistible to this Francophile. Though the mystery itself was somewhat simple, it was This quick and delightful read probably merits only 4 or 4.5 stars because Bruno and his world are almost too perfect. Andy Griffith and Mayberry came to mind more than once. But nothing from Aunt Bea's kitchen could rival the gastronomic pleasures enjoyed by the lucky residents of St. Denis, a tiny hamlet tucked into the Perigord region of southwest France. The descriptions of the food and the landscape were irresistible to this Francophile. Though the mystery itself was somewhat simple, it was a great teaching tool: I learned more about France's thorny history with Algeria and the complicated relationship that exists today with its Muslim population. That alone is worth five stars to me. And Bruno himself stands in refreshing contrast to the numerous dark-sided sleuths and police men and women that populate so many other mysteries. He puts his community first and tends to think the best of everyone. He relies on common sense and extensive personal knowledge of St. Denis to solve crimes. And besides coaching the local kids at tennis and rugby, he can throw together the perfect omelet, complete with truffles found on his own land. What's not to like? I'd be disappointed if we didn't see more of Bruno, as the character, the locale, and French history are the perfect ingredients for an entertaining series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I found the first in the Bruno, Chief of Police series an enjoyable read, full of local colour. It's probably 3 1/2 stars for me. The detective, Bruno, is an appealing character, who has a few demons from the past, but loves his life in St Denis, a small town in the Dordogne. He enjoys cooking delicious meals, as well as sampling the local wines. He is also happy to cover up minor offences committed by members of the local community, and to tell more than a few white lies to visiting police from I found the first in the Bruno, Chief of Police series an enjoyable read, full of local colour. It's probably 3 1/2 stars for me. The detective, Bruno, is an appealing character, who has a few demons from the past, but loves his life in St Denis, a small town in the Dordogne. He enjoys cooking delicious meals, as well as sampling the local wines. He is also happy to cover up minor offences committed by members of the local community, and to tell more than a few white lies to visiting police from city forces. However, even though I liked Bruno and enjoyed the evocative portrayal of a sleepy small French town, for me the novel is somewhat uneven. It opens with a very grim murder, as an elderly Algerian war veteran is found dead with a swastika carved into his chest, suggesting that racists could be responsible and recalling memories of the area's Resistance past. This is a fascinating and disturbing story, but it's a bit of a jump to go from Bruno's investigations into this dark story to his picnics in the French sunshine. I was also irritated by the way that our hero airily regards the law against drink-driving as an irrelevance. He repeatedly gets behind the wheel after numerous glasses of wine, and seems to think it's fine as long as he doesn't run into any of his fellow officers on the way home! He takes a similar view of EU food safety regulations as a joke which can safely be ignored. Of course, he may be forced to rethink these views in a future book. At the end of the book in the Kindle edition I read, following the close of the novel, there are several pages of tips for tourists, suggesting that quite an industry must have built up among people keen to trace Bruno's footsteps and see the Dordogne scenery for themselves. I'm definitely tempted, and may well read more in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    When I first heard about this novel it sounded somewhat similar to Hamish Macbeth whose policing job took place in a world he loves, he knows the people and their limitations, is a bachelor and too many women want him but he is just not ready to settle for whatever reason. The difference being that Bruno is grounded in the French countryside around the city of Saint Denis. Both hero's make their surroundings sound like well worth a visit. A war hero is found being murdered in a hideous way and bef When I first heard about this novel it sounded somewhat similar to Hamish Macbeth whose policing job took place in a world he loves, he knows the people and their limitations, is a bachelor and too many women want him but he is just not ready to settle for whatever reason. The difference being that Bruno is grounded in the French countryside around the city of Saint Denis. Both hero's make their surroundings sound like well worth a visit. A war hero is found being murdered in a hideous way and before long Paris decides that this case has a lot of political worth and they send their best to take care of this obvious racially motivated murder. Then there is a new chef of the Gendarme who overvalues his own importance and insight and is bound to make a mess due to a lack of insight. The EU inspectors that check upon French products in order to enforce their European laws are not welcome. And most certainly the folks from Front National are bound to pop up when the suspects are their comrades in their struggle of a France free of unFrench like persons. Bruno Courreges might be the chief of police he does not have a lot of pull in this potential explosive situation. And it takes his insight and commitment to make sure that a murder is solved and that the racists go away and leave his little beautiful town in peace. the final solution is found in Frances shameful WW2 past and will be a shocker nonetheless. A very moody and nice cozy crime novel, even if the initial crime is rather awefull, that does manage to be cliched but original at the same time. And it is a rather easy read that leaves you wanting for more. A decent enough first installment that manages to be painful and recognizable. Well worth the praise.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Connie G

    Bruno is the likable Chief of Police--and only policeman--in the fictional village of St Denis in the French Dordogne. Bruno has great people skills, knows everyone in the community, and is treated like a surrogate son by the mayor. He builds trust by volunteering to teach tennis and rugby to the children, and he knows their characters well by the time they reach their teenage years. The calm atmosphere in the village is broken when an old Algerian immigrant (who has family in the village) is fou Bruno is the likable Chief of Police--and only policeman--in the fictional village of St Denis in the French Dordogne. Bruno has great people skills, knows everyone in the community, and is treated like a surrogate son by the mayor. He builds trust by volunteering to teach tennis and rugby to the children, and he knows their characters well by the time they reach their teenage years. The calm atmosphere in the village is broken when an old Algerian immigrant (who has family in the village) is found murdered with a swastika carved on his chest. Bruno uses his local knowledge to help the national police investigate the crime. Concerns involving immigration, racism, and loss of tourism are important to the people in the village. Old resentments exist from activities in Vichy France during World War II. The author lives part-time in the Dordogne, and his love for southwestern France and its wonderful food is obvious. As a journalist he is very aware of French political issues which he worked into the plot. I enjoyed this light mystery and its charming policeman. You'll want to pour yourself a glass of French wine, and grab some baguettes and cheese to thoroughly enjoy the experience. The author's website has beautiful photos of some of the places featured in the series of Bruno books: http://www.brunochiefofpolice.com/

  12. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Your enthusiam may not equal mine, but I think you will find this a rewarding story set in contemporary southwest rural France. I have only explored a part of The Périgord, but Walker's descriptions ring true. His mystery involves local customs and characters and the relationship between the EU, France, The Périgord, and the little town of St. Denis, when a Muslim villager is killed with what looks like a swastika carved in his body. "Bruno", around whom this story revolves, is the chief of (and Your enthusiam may not equal mine, but I think you will find this a rewarding story set in contemporary southwest rural France. I have only explored a part of The Périgord, but Walker's descriptions ring true. His mystery involves local customs and characters and the relationship between the EU, France, The Périgord, and the little town of St. Denis, when a Muslim villager is killed with what looks like a swastika carved in his body. "Bruno", around whom this story revolves, is the chief of (and only) police of the town. He has (like Miss Marple) come to know his villagers well. As the tale progresses we learn a lot about the levels of bureaucracy and politics. Walker's emphasis on food, wine, the day to day life among the residents, tourists and foreign influences is a delight. It also gives a good bit of insight into the issues and challenges for contemporary France. He may more traditional in his handling of romance, but that doesn't seem to hurt his plot. Well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Very disappointing for me after all the good reviews. Lots of clunky exposition: "The Elysée Palace was the official home, as well as the personal office, of the president of France." Translate that to American, "The White House was the official home, as well as the personal office, of the president of the United States." Ponderous and unnecessary and meriting a huge eye roll. This was compounded by dialogue that was stilted and flatly unreal and used for even more clunky exposition. Add in a lo Very disappointing for me after all the good reviews. Lots of clunky exposition: "The Elysée Palace was the official home, as well as the personal office, of the president of France." Translate that to American, "The White House was the official home, as well as the personal office, of the president of the United States." Ponderous and unnecessary and meriting a huge eye roll. This was compounded by dialogue that was stilted and flatly unreal and used for even more clunky exposition. Add in a lot of very Mayle-esque clichés and there you have it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    I'm adding this to my favorite series shelf after reading just the first of seven Bruno, Chief of Police books. Bruno is a young veteran of the Bosnian conflict who has chosen police work in the bucolic commune of St. Denis in the Dordognes region of France, hoping for a stress-free existence. His ordinary duties include property disputes, neighbors tattling on each other, managing the rugby team and parades, whether commemorations or protest demonstrations. That is until the commune has its fir I'm adding this to my favorite series shelf after reading just the first of seven Bruno, Chief of Police books. Bruno is a young veteran of the Bosnian conflict who has chosen police work in the bucolic commune of St. Denis in the Dordognes region of France, hoping for a stress-free existence. His ordinary duties include property disputes, neighbors tattling on each other, managing the rugby team and parades, whether commemorations or protest demonstrations. That is until the commune has its first murder. The Police Nationale are assigned to the murder, but Bruno and the mayor rise to the occasion to help solve the mystery of why an elderly Arab was viciously murdered. Walker's descriptions of the beautiful setting are vivid, taking the reader on a brief vacation and making this reader want to take a trip to the Dordognes. The cast of characters and changing landscape of the population and politics offers plenty of interesting dynamics. There are the families who have lived there for centuries, there are the English who are buying up country homes and turning them into resorts, there are Muslim families who immigrated two to three generations ago, there are memories of the occupation of WWII, there are rivalries between citizens of different political persuasions - all adding layers of texture to the story. Throw in a little tension between Bruno and a young Police Nationale upstart, a mystery that keeps you guessing, the leisurely pace of the area, tennis (!), lots of delicious meals, and a little romance/sex and Bruno, Chief of Police is a delightful read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kylie H

    This book creates many illusions, the first being that St Denis is a quaint French provincial village leading a peaceful existence. The second is that Benoit "Bruno" Courrèges is a sedate country policeman blissfully unaware of immorality and evil. These misconceptions are soon abolished and it becomes apparent that an evil from the past is about to revisit the rural Périgord region. Will the small Arab community within this region survive what is about to turn their lives upside down? Will Bruno This book creates many illusions, the first being that St Denis is a quaint French provincial village leading a peaceful existence. The second is that Benoit "Bruno" Courrèges is a sedate country policeman blissfully unaware of immorality and evil. These misconceptions are soon abolished and it becomes apparent that an evil from the past is about to revisit the rural Périgord region. Will the small Arab community within this region survive what is about to turn their lives upside down? Will Bruno be able to protect his community from the ambitious external police and law forces that will come to investigate? A wonderfully told murder story in an idyllic setting. Warning the food described in this book may make you forage for snacks and coincidentally your clothes may soon 'shrink' in the wash!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎

    I enjoyed this cozy mystery novel very much. The book setting in a quaint village in one of the most beautiful regions of France (Dordogne) brought back treasured memories of my visits there. Contrary to many other novels set in France, in this one the events take place in modern times. I liked the author’s inclusion of current issues such as the strict rules about food production and its sale due to the EU regulations and the challenges to integration between locals and Muslim immigrants in the I enjoyed this cozy mystery novel very much. The book setting in a quaint village in one of the most beautiful regions of France (Dordogne) brought back treasured memories of my visits there. Contrary to many other novels set in France, in this one the events take place in modern times. I liked the author’s inclusion of current issues such as the strict rules about food production and its sale due to the EU regulations and the challenges to integration between locals and Muslim immigrants in the past and at present. However, the best part for me was the background about wartime France, the French Resistance and the actions of the Force Mobile (part of the Vichy regime and Nazi sympathizers) in occupied Perigord. The novel evokes the many colours and flavours of French culture, the local people, countryside, history and food (!) without falling into the cliché’ trap. A charming read, I will certainly continue this series. 3.5 stars rounded up for the interesting historical aspect.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kandice

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. I enjoyed the locale of the book. I enjoyed the time period in which it was set. However, I felt the story dragged terribly. It lacked suspense and seemed to get bogged down in the details of small-town life. Plus, the main character seemed more caught up in what woman he might decide to date rather than in the urgency of solving the crime. I doubt I'll read any more books in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    A real enjoyable who-dunnit in St. Denis, France. Wonderful descriptions of the Dordogne Valley and their meals and wines make for a satisfying read alone, but the mystery was good too. Really like the character Bruno, the chief of police and look forward to reading the next book in his series!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    If Peter Mayle had woven a murder mystery into his hymns to Provence, they might have looked something like this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    James

    The story of a charming policeman, in a charming French town, populated with lots of charming people solving a thoroughly nasty crime. The whole book seems to have been written with one eye to replicating the success of Peter mayle. This pandering does overshadow some of the more promising elements. Maybe these come to the fore later in the series. In the meantime your left with a book that is pleasant enough but no big shakes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    If a murder mystery can be charming and delightful this is the book for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Okay. A friend who loves Louise Penny recommended this book because of the correlations - murder mystery and food. Sadly, this tired little book sets you up to read about "not-so-fascinating" (or even vaguely new) ways to marinate a steak & make a simple salad and ADDS (hold on!!!) - extreme detail - the age of the lettuce & who brings it into the kitchen and when to serve it with the "perfect potatoes" (NOT a spoiler, I assure you). Yes, this Bruno dude is apparently the alpha male of all Renai Okay. A friend who loves Louise Penny recommended this book because of the correlations - murder mystery and food. Sadly, this tired little book sets you up to read about "not-so-fascinating" (or even vaguely new) ways to marinate a steak & make a simple salad and ADDS (hold on!!!) - extreme detail - the age of the lettuce & who brings it into the kitchen and when to serve it with the "perfect potatoes" (NOT a spoiler, I assure you). Yes, this Bruno dude is apparently the alpha male of all Renaissance men writ French since 9/11, but I assure you, he's not terribly interesting, whatever his sexual predilections -- if we knew what interested him (aside from himself), this book might have some value. It doesn't. Read ANYTHING else (cereal box comes to mind). BTW: yes, there's a murder. Several cops investigate. Surprise! Only the supreme, self-satisfied (not so boy) "wonder" Bruno finds the clues, etc. Wake me up when this series ends

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nigeyb

    'Bruno, Chief of Police' by Martin Walker is the first of (at the time of writing) nine novels about Bruno Courrèges, and the first I have read. Bruno is chief of the police municipale, and the one and only officer on the local force, in the Périgord town of St Denis where he reports to the Mayor. Whilst no literary masterpiece, I really enjoyed the evocation of life in the Périgord region of the Dordogne - a place I've visited twice and loved. Bruno is an engaging fellow and, as is par for the c 'Bruno, Chief of Police' by Martin Walker is the first of (at the time of writing) nine novels about Bruno Courrèges, and the first I have read. Bruno is chief of the police municipale, and the one and only officer on the local force, in the Périgord town of St Denis where he reports to the Mayor. Whilst no literary masterpiece, I really enjoyed the evocation of life in the Périgord region of the Dordogne - a place I've visited twice and loved. Bruno is an engaging fellow and, as is par for the course with crime novels, a man with a few issues to contend with. He is an ex-soldier, decorated for bravery in the Balkans, where the love of his life was killed. He is also an orphan who never had a proper home until he arrived in St Denis. Where 'Bruno, Chief of Police' scored highly for me, was the sense of place - the Périgord region is bought to life through numerous little details: the insights into local politics, and how it intersects with national concerns; the recent history of the region, contemporary issues mingle with memories of Vichy France; and the Bruno character who is very likeable and someone I want to spend more time with. In short, 'Bruno, Chief of Police' is a quick, easy, undemanding read with some great insights too. I will be reading the second book soon. 4/5

  24. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE (Trad. Myst/Police Proc-Cpt. Bruno Courrège-St. Denis, France-Cont.) – VG+ Walker, Martin – 1st book Quercus, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9781847245076 First Sentence: On a bright May morning, so early that the last of the mist was still lingering low over the great bend in the river, a white van drew to a halt on the ridge over the small French town. Bruno Courrege is police captain in St. Denis, a quiet, medieval town in southwest France where the biggest crime has been thwar BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE (Trad. Myst/Police Proc-Cpt. Bruno Courrège-St. Denis, France-Cont.) – VG+ Walker, Martin – 1st book Quercus, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9781847245076 First Sentence: On a bright May morning, so early that the last of the mist was still lingering low over the great bend in the river, a white van drew to a halt on the ridge over the small French town. Bruno Courrege is police captain in St. Denis, a quiet, medieval town in southwest France where the biggest crime has been thwarting the Belgium inspectors trying to enforce the EU hygiene rules. The May 8th celebration of France’s Liberation from Germany includes a ceremony with flags of each country who fought in the war, old veterans of the Resistance and an Arab immigrant, Hamid Mustafa al-Bakr, who was awarded the Croix de Guerre during Vietnam and whose son, grandson have grown up in the town. The celebration is marred by protests of Le Front National (neo-Nazis). Hamid is found brutally murdered with a swastika carved into his forward. This may be Walkers first book, but it won’t be the last of his I read. I so enjoyed that the story is set in the countryside, rather than in Paris. He paints verbal pictures of the countryside and the food. I learned history of the WWII in France and the Resistance that I hadn’t known. The story is wonderfully plotted. But it’s the characters that really make this work. Bruno is an orphan who is a canny, sensitive character who loves his town, values his relations with his friend, the town’s mayor, and never carries a gun. This was a wonderful read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dana Woodaman

    A gourmet chef, good with children, keeps a clean house (which he mostly rebuilt himself) and a sharp eyed detective in a small town in South Western France - what could there be not to like about Bruno? A delightful, dare I say light hearted mystery that taught me much about life in small town France - HIGHLY recommended!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Perri

    A charming tale of a brutal murder in a provincial French town? Oh yes! Sometimes when I read books set in a (to me) foreign country, I feel like an outsider, but in this book I felt I was being casually immersed in French politics, culture and, of course, the food! Putain!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana Stabenow

    Take rural France and mix with wine, cheese, drugs, and Nazis plain and neo. Result? Martin Walker’s Bruno, Chief of Police. St. Denis is a small village in Perigot in the south of present-day France. The first chapter opens on a beautiful day in May, with Bruno Courreges, St. Denis’s chief of police, surveying his village from upon high with no little satisfaction, but also with no illusions. St. Denis has its problems, including feuding World War II vets and interfering EU inspectors, but Bruno Take rural France and mix with wine, cheese, drugs, and Nazis plain and neo. Result? Martin Walker’s Bruno, Chief of Police. St. Denis is a small village in Perigot in the south of present-day France. The first chapter opens on a beautiful day in May, with Bruno Courreges, St. Denis’s chief of police, surveying his village from upon high with no little satisfaction, but also with no illusions. St. Denis has its problems, including feuding World War II vets and interfering EU inspectors, but Bruno, a refugee from war himself, has found a home in this little valley along the Dordogne River and his love for it does not blind him to its realities. One of which, this glorious May day, manifests itself in the body of one of the aforementioned war veterans, discovered most brutally murdered in his own home. Follow the clues, you might get there before Bruno did, but the red herrings are numerous and convincing, beginning with slacker teens, neo-Nazis and Dutch drug dealers. The very satisfying resolution proves to be much closer to home, and no cheating, either, and the characters are iconic without being stereotypical, beginning with Bruno: He had worn [his gun] on duty on only three occasions in his ten years in the Police Municipale. The first was when a rabid dog had been sighted in a neighboring commune…The second was when the president of France had driven through St. Denis on his way to see the celebrated cave pantings of Lascaux nearby…The third time was when a boxing kangaroo escaped from a local circus. On no occasion had Bruno’s gun ever been used on duty, a fact of which he was extremely but privately proud. The setting begins as nearly idyillic, a small town in a scenic countryside where the Tuesday market has been a fixture for seven centuries: Every Tuesday since the year 1346, when the English had captured half the nobility of France at the Battle of Crecy and the grand Brillamont family ad to raise money to pay the ransom for their seigneur, the little Perigord town of St. Denis has held a weekly mrket. The townspeople had raised the princely sum of fifty livres of silver for their feudal lord and, in return, they cannily secured the right from him to hold the market, understanding that this would guarantee a livelihood to the tiny community… The description of Bruno’s cottage had me mentally packing my bags for the next plane east, glass ready for some of his vin de noix. In Bruno, Chief of Police, Martin Walker has picked up Miss Marple‘s St. Mary Mead and dropped it into the middle of A Year in Provence. A more delightful debut novel you will seldom find.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roddy Williams

    I have to confess that I was slowly seduced by this book, which made me want to run away to France, buy an isolated cottage, make my own sausages and grow carrots. Bruno is an ex-soldier working as a policeman in the French town of St Denis. Up until now his main problems have been Planning violations, keeping the rugby team in order and co-ordinating the townspeople's defences against the bureaucratic nonsense of the EU food inspectors. However, he has a real crime on his hands when an elderly a I have to confess that I was slowly seduced by this book, which made me want to run away to France, buy an isolated cottage, make my own sausages and grow carrots. Bruno is an ex-soldier working as a policeman in the French town of St Denis. Up until now his main problems have been Planning violations, keeping the rugby team in order and co-ordinating the townspeople's defences against the bureaucratic nonsense of the EU food inspectors. However, he has a real crime on his hands when an elderly arab is murdered and left with a swastika carved into his chest. Walker paints an idyllic picture of this part of France, where every meal appears to be a gourmet's dream, accompanied by a bewildering selection of alcohol. This is contrasted by the elements of French Society that are veering toward the Right, despite their experience of such things in World War II. Do not think though that this is a depressing tale of political extremism, since it is not. It is very much character driven, with a largeish cast of very individual characters from various social and ethnic backgrounds, but who are all decidedly and proudly French (apart from two English women, but even they have gone partly native and become part of the scenery). It's a thoroughly enjoyable read, which taught me a great deal about France, the French and French history. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series now. Have lots of food to hand though, as it will make you hungry.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a terrific new mystery series written by a former international correspondent for a British newspaper. Set in the Dordogne region of France, it centers around the sole policeman of a small French town/village. Superficially, you could compare Bruno to Hamish Macbeth but it would only be superficial. Like Hamish, Bruno is happy enough to remain as policeman for a small town while growing his own vegetables and making his own vin de noix. He, too, has a dog he is devoted to. He, also, is a This is a terrific new mystery series written by a former international correspondent for a British newspaper. Set in the Dordogne region of France, it centers around the sole policeman of a small French town/village. Superficially, you could compare Bruno to Hamish Macbeth but it would only be superficial. Like Hamish, Bruno is happy enough to remain as policeman for a small town while growing his own vegetables and making his own vin de noix. He, too, has a dog he is devoted to. He, also, is a very eligible bachelor who the ladies of town would love to see married. Unlike Hamish, though, this mystery is a sobering one. The reverberations from the Resistance and WWII still echo all the way to the 21st century with horrifying results. Local knowledge and an open mind help Bruno solve this mystery.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judith E

    This may be a good filler while waiting for the next Louise Penney novel. St. Denis is like Three Pines but with no snow, and also like Three Pines, the setting is peaceful, bucolic and quaint. The food is gourmet and the inspector is thoughtful but emotionally damaged. The bonus part of this mystery was the fairly detailed information about the Algerian-French conflict, the treatment of Algerians/Muslims, the part Algerians played in WWII anti-resistance efforts, the National Front party, commu This may be a good filler while waiting for the next Louise Penney novel. St. Denis is like Three Pines but with no snow, and also like Three Pines, the setting is peaceful, bucolic and quaint. The food is gourmet and the inspector is thoughtful but emotionally damaged. The bonus part of this mystery was the fairly detailed information about the Algerian-French conflict, the treatment of Algerians/Muslims, the part Algerians played in WWII anti-resistance efforts, the National Front party, communist influences and the pre-historic caves and drawings of Perigord. I felt the ending was perfect and realistic considering the events occurred in a small rural town setting. An easy read but still recommended. Rounded up from 3.5.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.