The Dark Vineyard: Book summary and reviews of The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker

The Dark Vineyard

A mystery of the French countryside

By Martin Walker

The Dark Vineyard
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2010,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

Benoît (Bruno) Courrèges—devoted friend, cuisinier extraordinaire and the town's only municipal policeman—rushes to the scene when a research station for genetically modified crops is burned down outside Saint-Denis. Bruno immediately suspects a group of fervent environmentalists who live nearby, but the fire is only the first in a string of mysteries centering on the region’s fertile soil.

Then a bevy of winemakers descends on Saint-Denis, competing for its land and spurring resentment among the villagers. Romances blossom. Hearts are broken. Some of the sensual pleasures of the town—a dinner of a truffle omelette and grilled bécasses, a community grape-crushing—provide an opportunity for both warm friendship and bitter hostilities to form. The town’s rivals—Max, an environmentalist who hopes to make organic wine; Jacqueline, a flirtatious, newly arrived Québécoise; and Fernando, the heir to an American wine fortune—act increasingly erratically. 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] lyrical sequel...his villagers are no more immune from modern times than the rest of us--they just drink better wine." - Publishers Weekly

"A Francophile's workmanlike mystery, prosaic although something of a poem to the region." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Oenophiles and armchair travelers alike will enjoy spending time in this lovely, lively part of France." - Booklist

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by JKEdwards
The Dark Vineyard
I'm hooked on Bruno!
First, I read Bruno, Chief of Police, then The Dark Vineyard. If you've put off visiting France, these stories of life in the Dordogne/Perigord should convince you this is the place to go. Although there is criminal activity, the general tenor of the plot(s) is the way of life.

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Author Information

Martin Walker Author Biography

Photo: Jerry Bauer

Martin Walker is senior director of the Global Business Policy Council, a private think-tank based in Washington, DC. He is also editor emeritus of United Press International and was a journalist with The Guardian for 25 years, serving as bureau chief in Moscow and the United States. He has written for such publications as The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement. He appears regularly on the BBC and CNN. He is the author of three works of non-fiction, including The Cold War: A History, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a historical novel, The Caves of Périgord. His four novels in the Bruno series are Bruno, Chief of Police; The Dark Vineyard; Black Diamond; and The Crowded Grave.

He lives with his wife in Washington, DC. and in the ...

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