Reviews

Library Journal
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Come back to the Dordogne for the fifth series title (after The Crowded Grave) in Walker's French village procedural. A woman's death has occult overtones. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This is the fifth in the series starring Benoit Bruno Courreges, chief of police in a tiny village in the Dordogne region of France. The French countryside, with its glorious food and wine, provides stark contrast to the dark deeds of the crimes Bruno investigates. For example, when Bruno and his aide go fishing, hoping to discover the source of a victim's body, they take along limes to flavor the trout they catch and fillet on the river bank. This mystery has a very dark basis: a naked woman is seen in a boat floating down the river. The woman has been murdered, with a symbol traced in black on her belly. Black candles and the severed head of a cockerel are found in the boat. Bruno investigates the possible black-magic connection, unearthing rituals that go back to a black mass enacted by a desperate mistress of Louis XIV. There are contemporary tie-ins as well to a real-estate scheme in the area. An enchanting new entry in this solid series.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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At the start of Walker's charming fifth novel featuring Bruno Courreges, police chief in the French village of St. Denis (after 2012's The Crowded Grave), reports that a dead naked woman is drifting downstream in a boat on the local river disturb the policeman's choir practice. Once the vessel is secured, Bruno goes aboard. Along with the corpse, whose belly is marked with a pentagram, he finds a black cockerel, the bird's severed head, and black candles. Identifying the woman and the cause of her death proves less than straightforward, and the mystery deepens when another person turns up dead. Rumors that the woman, who's deemed a suicide, was involved in conducting a black mass don't please the town mayor, who's not eager for the negative publicity they engender. Bruno, an affable gourmet and dogged investigator, is a winning lead, and Walker perfectly balances developments in his private life with the homicide inquiry. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Felicity Bryan Associates. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.