The Dark Vineyard: A Mystery of the French Countryside (Bruno, Chief of Police Series: Book #2) by Martin Walker
The second installment in the delightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Bruno, Chief of Police.
When a bevy of winemakers descend on Saint-Denis, competing for its land and spurring resentment among the villagers, the idyllic town—where Benoit “Bruno” Courreges is the town’s only policeman—finds itself the center of an intense drama, with suspicious fires at the agricultural research station that is working on genetically-modified crops.
Two young men—Max, an environmentalist who hopes to make organic wine, and Fernando, the heir to an American wine fortune—become rivals for the affections of Jacqueline, a flirtatious, newly arrived Québécoise student of wine. Events grow ever darker, culminating in two suspicious deaths, and Bruno finds that the problems of the present are never far from those of the past.
"Captivating...Sure to appeal to readers with a palate for mysteries with social nuance and understated charm." --The Wall Street Journal
"A gentle reminder to slow down and smell the grapes.... [Walker] beguiles the reader." --The New York Tiems Book Review
"The real pleasure of the book is the place itself.... As readers are drawn into wine-stomping parties, truffle omelet dinners, and the aged dignity of a French hunting hound, the narrative tension gathers." --Houston Chronicle