The Crowded Grave (Knopf $244.95), A Mystery of the French Countryside Bruno Courrèges, Chief of Police, a negotiator, fabulous cook, excellent sleuth, and critic of the EU It’s spring in the idyllic village of St. Denis, and for Bruno that means lamb stews, bottles of his beloved Pomerol, morning walks with his hound, Gigi–and a new string of regional crimes and international capers. When a local archaeological dig looking for Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal remains turns up a distinctly contemporary corpse (a watch on its wrist, a bullet in its head), Bruno has a new case to solve. But, of course, there are complications: an escalating series of attacks on local foie gras producers by animal rights activists; a summit between France and Spain about to take place nearby; and two beautiful, brilliant women vying for Bruno’s affections. As summer approaches–the wine growing cooler and the fruit sweeter–Bruno’s investigations take him deeper and deeper into Europe’s recent dark history of terrorist and counterterrorist tactics–and, inexorably, toward a dramatic, startling conclusion.
MARTIN WALKER is senior director of the Global Business Policy Council, a private think tank for CEOs of major corporations, based in Washington, D.C. He is also editor-in-chief emeritus and international affairs columnist at United Press International. His books include The Cold War: A History, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also author of America Reborn: ATwentieth-Century Narrative in Twenty-six Lives, and the three previous novels in the Bruno series: Bruno, Chief of Police; The Dark Vineyard; and Black Diamond.