Then the inspectors had changed their tactics and come by train, staying at local hotels. But they were easily spotted by the hotel keepers, who all had cousins or suppliers who made the crottins of goat cheese and the foie gras, the jams, the oils flavored with walnuts and truffles, and the confits that assured that this corner of France was known as the very heart of the nations gastronomic culture. Bruno, acting with the support of his mayor and all the elected councillors of the commune, including even Montsouris the communist, made it his duty to protect his neighbors and friends from the nuisances of Brussels, where the idea of food was known to stop at moules and pommes frites, and where perfectly good potatoes were adulterated with an industrial mayonnaise they did not have the patience to make themselves.
So now the inspectors were trying this new tack. They had succeeded in handing out four fines in St. Alvère the day before, but they would not succeed in St. Denis, whose famous market went back more than seven hundred years. Not if Bruno had anything to do with it. After one final gaze into the beautiful little corner of the world that was entrusted to him, Bruno climbed back into his van and headed for the market.
Excerpted from Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker Copyright © 2009 by Martin Walker. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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