Early on summer mornings, police chief Bruno enjoys wandering the stalls of the weekly market in the village of St. Denis as they are being loaded with wares—ducks, oysters, wooden toys, used books, exotic teas and now, even miniskirts and cellphone cases. St. Denis is changing.
But when Bruno’s old friend Léopold from Senegal and his young nephew Cali start selling African coffee and chocolate more cheaply than Bruno’s old friend Fauquet at his café across the square—Fauquet starts to lose his clientele and a competition erupts between the vendors. As a local taxpayer, Fauquet seeks protection against unfair competition while Leopold and Cali seek the right to do business fairly and protection from the anti-immigrant café-owners in nearby towns. As the rivalry escalates, it’s up to Bruno to find a way for the neighbors of St. Denis to make peace.
MARTIN WALKER is a senior fellow of the Global Business Policy Council, a private think tank based in Washington, D.C. He is also editor in chief emeritus and international affairs columnist at United Press International. His previous novels in the… More about Martin Walker
“The small towns where Martin Walker sets his enchanting country mysteries embody the sublime physical beauty and intractable political problems of the Dordogne region of France.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“In an era when most Americans are ignorant of France in its true richness, generosity of spirit, and quality of life, Mr. Walker and his Bruno offer an enchanting introduction into this very real world. The American reading public should flock to join them.” —Martin Sieff, The Washington Times
“Captivating….Sure to appeal to readers with a palate for mysteries with social nuance and understated charm.” —Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal