April 8, 2016 at pm (Book review, books, France, Mystery fiction) J’ai adoré ce livre!
I did indeed love this book, from its opening at a celebration for a French patriot and war hero right through to the conclusion, where Bruno, having solved a fiendishly intricate mystery, is nonetheless still pining for the ideal wife and mother he seeks to make his life whole and rewarding.
Don’t know about you, but I’m ready to hop on a plane and head straight for this culinary paradise! In this scene, Bruno has been invited to a cave, or wine cellar, to deliver his opinion of a new vintage: He swirled the glass a little to see the healthy crown as the liquid trickled back down the sides of the glass.
He swirled it more and then sniffed, cocking his head as he’d been taught to give each nostril a chance to savor the bouquet.
But most amazing of all are the descriptions of the food and wine.
Bruno is a gourmet cook, and his version of “whipping something up” is miles above mine (canned tuna with mayonnaise thrown in and some crackers, with Diet Snapple to wash it down.).
He smelled dark fruit, a fresh earthiness like a plowed field after the rain; that would be the merlot…He swirled the glass again and sniffed once more, recognizing the freshness of the cabernet sauvignon.
He took a sip, let it settle in his mouth to reach those less-used taste buds at the back of his tongue. I cannot tell a lie: Whenever my husband encounters passages like this especially the part about “the fresh earthiness like a plowed field after the rain,” he invariably lifts his gaze heavenward and proclaims: “They’re making that stuff up! Denis, where Bruno does his policing, seems to be by and large a delightful and welcoming place. A tangled set of circumstances requires the steady persistence of Bruno and his friends and colleagues to unravel.
This yearning, which from time to time retreats into the background of his life but never entirely disappears, is one of the traits that makes Bruno Courreges such an endearing character.
In addition to Bruno, the novel’s other characters are vividly depicted, and once again the beauty and fascination of the Perigord region is brought to life for the reader.
” But these folks do take their wine very seriously. Its residents, mostly known to one another, socialize frequently and informally. It begins with a decease that seems to be from natural causes – if drinking yourself to death can be termed ‘natural’ – but might in fact be something else. There is perhaps too much convoluted explanatory material presented near the conclusion.