A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker

A Taste for Vengeance

Martin Walker

Bruno’s search for a missing British tourist and the circumstances surrounding a star rugby player's pregnancy lead him to places he hadn’t intended to go.

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A missing woman, a shocking pregnancy, a dash of international intrigue, and a bottle or two of good Bergerac: it's another case for Bruno, Chief of Police.

When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in Bruno's usually idyllic Dordogne village of St. Denis, the worried hostess is quick to call on Bruno for help. Monica Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British major, is unreachable. And not long after Bruno discovers that Monica was traveling with a mysterious Irishman (her lover?), the two turn up dead. The Irishman's background in intelligence and his connection to Monica's husband only raise more questions for Bruno. Was she running away? How much does her husband really know? What's the real story behind a scandal buried in the threesome's military past? Meanwhile, the star of the girls' rugby team, a favorite of Bruno's, is pregnant, putting at risk her chances of being named to the French national squad. Bruno's search for the truth in both cases leads him to places he hadn't intended to go--but, as ever, he and his friends take time to savor the natural delights of the Dordogne. Santé!


Advance Galley Reviews

Thank you to Penguin irst for the opportunity to read the galley for this book. Had I known it was part of a series I would have done some background on Bruno (Balzac is very self-expanatory!). There are far too many characters in this book. The missing woman is quickly found. That pregnancy is a nuicance to the already overloaded story. And while it may be part of Bruno's charm how does he get a promotion to a regional police post, work with the international counter-intelligence group, volunteer his time as an expert chef and food critic to a local bed and breakfast, coach a rugby team, exercise his horse and throw intimate dinner parties all in a 24 hour period? There is so much untranslated French in the book that you must be fluent, concede to reading with a translation dictionary next to you, use google translation or, BETTER YET, read the book on an electronic device after it is published so you can easily get the translation. It would also be helpful to have a map of France. And are you an expert in French wines? No? Get up to speed. BTW, you also need to be somewhat of an Irish history buff to recall the animosity between Ireland and England and the inner workings of the IRA. Every character in this book is multi-lingual. There is a good story buried in this book. Bruno is highy likable. I wanted to finish the book and did. I may go back to Bruno's beginnings. But not for my next read. I am going back to my own book list.

I did not know this book was part of a series, therefore, my knowledge and familiarity of characters and established setting was limited. I, however, enjoyed the story and the main character Bruno, as well as his dog. The story itself was a bit confusing. There was so much name dropping of agency's and past events with regards to murder that it was all convoluted. The story suffered because of all the backstory that was created and it was hard to keep up with all the organizations and war or battle events the victim was involved that it just was drowned in incidents of the past. As far as current events, that's what was most exciting with his weekly meals and his connection with the people of St. Denis. The characters and his familiarity with the town is what really drives this story home. I am interested in reading the rest of this series.

I think I would have liked this book more if I had read others in the series. The book works but there is obviously some back story I am missing. The main characters are interesting and likable. I enjoyed the mystery. There was just something missing. I think I'll find that something by reading the earlier books. I liked the characters enough to give the earlier books a try.

I was delighted to get a chance to read the latest Bruno Chief of Police mystery in a pre-print from the publisher, and equally pleased to see that Martin Walker had figured out a promotion for Bruno -- to a regional policing job. As usual there is a mix of returning characters plus a few new ones, as well as a mix of local and international intrigue. The IRA connection didn't quite gel for me, but overall it was a good chapter in the Bruno saga.

As is the case with all of Walker's "Bruno" series, this was a tremendously satisfying book to read, very much like sitting down for a several-hour home-made dinner after working hard all day. I learned the hard way that's not for everyone... visiting my husband in Toulouse, where he and his colleagues were working, they had no patience with the several courses of the dinners or the assumption that they would wish to sit and enjoy the food rather than race through it; it's a different way of life, for sure, and Walker does his level best to bring the seduction of it to life. For me, he succeeds in spades. In this book, Bruno has had a promotion and is now in charge of police for the region. The book starts with the touching ceremony of his investiture, where his good friends, who are also officials and work superiors, surprise him with a very personal celebration. In a time when many of us regularly attend funerals given by ministers who clearly had no idea who the deceased might have been, this sense of community is so appealing. Two parallel story lines follow; in one, Bruno's young soccer protege finds herself pregnant just before national team drafts for which she is a favorite. In the second, it appears that an IRA hit team is operating in the Perigord. This is probably as close to a cozy mystery as a murder where semi-automatic weapons are used can be... the plot really is secondary to the relationships and the fellowship and the food. Let me be clear -- I'm not a "foodie," nor a cook; I don't have any illusions that I could re-create the meals or even find the ingredients. Mostly, I just love the commitment Bruno -- and Walker -- have to small, agrarian communities and the people who understand what it means to truly be a part of them.

Bruno chief of police is living in a small French village; He is especially appreciative of the local food (truffles!) and wine. When he is asked to find a lost British tourist he is involved in a convoluted case involving the IRA and the war in Iraq. There is a nice contrast between the life of the French villagers and the international characters who bring bloodshed to the town. For me the description of the meals was the best part of the book.

I received a free copy of this from Penguin First to read program. I have been meaning to try this series for a while and so was excited to be chosen for the galley. I think I may have liked it better if the IRA hadn't been drug into the business along with imperialist nonsense that only the Irish hold a grudge and the Troubles are all the fault of horridly violent Irish like the British never at any point in history had anything to do with it. I did like Bruno and enjoyed his policing style. I liked the community members as well and it was a nice little crime development. The cooking and personal stuff made it drag at times and was a little blah for a new reader. Not difficult to follow just didn't really care which makes sense in book 11. But I wont be back for another dose of British propaganda

Oh Bruno, I love you so. Ditch that Isabelle and find someone who can make you happy more than just for a day or so every few months. I love this series, and ok, maybe I need to face the fact that this fiction. I have been reading this series from the beginning and have enjoyed them all but this one is among the best. Already looking forward to the next one.

A Taste for Vengeance continues the adventures of French police chief Bruno Courreges, lover of French cuisine, wine, women, dogs, horses and all things of the Perigord. When a British tourist headed for a cooking school run by 2 of Bruno's friends fails to show up, Bruno is called upon to find her. What he discovers in the process is that she is connected to a mysterious Irishman living under an assumed identity. Both ultimately turn up dead, initially a suspected murder-suicide. Meanwhile, an 18 year old women's rugby player, star of the team Bruno coaches, is pregnant, putting at risk her chances of be selected to play for France. Mix in millions stolen during the Iraq war and IRA stalwarts out for revenge. The result is another rousing adventure for Bruno and his large cast of colleagues and friends.

The book was part of a series, and there was some confusion about characters referenced from prior installments, but not enough to deter the gist of the story. A view of the inner workings of a small French village and their main policeman, Bruno. Told from a slow paced and interspersed with hearty cooking and snippets of connections in village life. While a double murder invades the bucolic community and Bruno's star rugby pupil's pregnancy will effect her chances for a national spot. Lots of international intrigue and interest in local wineries, shared repasts and camaraderie culminating in an exciting action scene. Somewhat detail oriented, but an interesting look at another country and their laid back culture.

I haven’t read the previous books in this series, so it was difficult to know the characters. I found the book slow but I did like it.

 


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