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The Crowded Grave (Bruno, Chief of Police #4)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  2,207 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
Another delectable serving of mystery and the pleasures of the Dordogne from the newest master of suspense, Martin Walker.
It's spring in the idyllic village of St. Denis, and for Chief of Police Bruno Courreges 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 loc
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Quercus (first published 2011)
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Like the previous books in this series, a number of serious international issues are combined with Bruno's personal dramas supported by a cast of colorful characters to let it all work out in the end. The actions and events are hilarious, serious, sad and happy.

Three major issues hit St Denis in the Perigord region of France:

1) An important summit between Spain and France on the combat of Basque terrorism and the undercover actions of the Spanish police in France;

2) A historically important a
Tim The Enchanter
The Crowded Grave is the 4th book in the wonderful series, Bruno, Chief of Police. This is a mystery, a thriller and a walk through the French Countryside all wrapped up in one. This is one of the best in the series. The books stay fresh with the continued introduction of new and interesting characters and the continual presence of old ones.

There is something in the way that Martin Walker writes his characters that makes this series stand out from the rest. No one feels like a caricature and alt
Gerald Sinstadt
Nov 17, 2014 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
This is the fourth in Martin Walker's Bruno series and, in many ways, the best so far. The Brigadier again has a prominent role and so we spend time dealing with international matters - an area where a small town Chief of Police seems an unlikely participant. The author just about pulls it off, and can be forgiven because Basque terrorism doesn't completely overshadow the lesser crime scene in St Denis.

The people - and the cuisine - are infinitely beguiling, while personal relationships are hand
Florence Millo
Dec 10, 2012 Florence Millo rated it really liked it
I am in love with Bruno. I would love for him to cook for me in his cottage. I don't understand Isabelle but if she doesn't want him, I sure do!
Jul 01, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Almost as much a travel book as a police procedural, The Crowded Grave features a local cop, Bruno Courrèges, who can hold his own with members of France's various national police forces while keeping life smooth for farmers, villagers and tourists in the fictional community of St. Denis. Amid the spectacular food, wine and scenery of the Dordogne region, Bruno finesses the quirks of French bureaucracy and politics to make sure that the misguided get a second chance and that a brutal terrorist p ...more
Ken Fredette
Nov 27, 2011 Ken Fredette rated it it was amazing
This book was good. My wife would hate it because of the ending. 4 books to come to this ending. His next book should take care of that. I won't spoil the book with what happened but it's a good read. A glass of wine and a book. What could be better.
Deale Hutton
Feb 21, 2013 Deale Hutton rated it it was amazing
I really love the way Martin Walker combines history, food/wine, and mystery. His characters are wonderfully developed. There is a lot of archaeological fun facts in this one, lots of recipes and a traumatic ending.
Get me some duck fat! LOL
First Sentence: For once, the chef de police of the small French town of St. Denis was carrying a gun.

It is a busy time for police chief Bruno Courrèges. Local farmers of geese and ducks are being set upon by members of PETA who oppose fois gras. A local archeology site has turned up four skeleton’s-- three that could cause a significant change in the science of evolution, one much more recent who was murdered—and now the head of the dig has gone missing. A high level summit is about to take pla
Shirley Schwartz
This is another excellent entry in the Bruno Chief of Police series, and this series is fast becoming one of my very favourites. I am now waiting for someone to get the marvelous idea to make a television series from Martin Walker's wonderful books. I somehow missed this particular book in my reading through the list, so I read it just now, after I had already read the next one in the series. I therefore knew some of the stuff that was going to happen, but that did not spoil the book at all for ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Booknblues rated it really liked it
The Crowded Grave
By Martin Walker
4 stars
pp. 314

I was pleased to see that a new Bruno, Chief of Police had been released as I had enjoyed a previous book by Martin Walker The Dark Vineyard. I can say that The Crowded Grave lived up to my expectations and I appreciated the development of the characters, the mystery, the setting and the descriptions of the food and wine of the region.

Bruno Courreges is The Chief of Police for the village of St. Denis in Dordogne, France. Bruno embraces his home, th
Apr 29, 2015 Suzy rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars for the series
3 1/2 stars for this installment

I continue to love this series for how well-developed the characters are, for the location, the Perigord region of France, and the commune of St Denis and for how the stories are about more than just the murder and whodunit. In The Crowded Grave we have an unannounced summit between France and Spain on the Basque terrorism issue. It's to be located in St Denis with Bruno enlisted by "the brigadier" to help with security. Then there is an
Oct 05, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
I nearly stopped reading this book, it did not hold my interest in the beginning. The story involves two things that just don't pop my cork - international terrorist movements and foie gras farming (or is it ranching?). However, the book had gotten high praise and is part of an on-going series with a single detective - I love series & hadn't ever tried this one, so I kept reading. The middle third of the book was great, but the ending was kind of flat for me. The book left too many secondary ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
My reasons for enjoying the Martin Walker series Bruno Chief of Police remain the same: the author's description of the beauty and history found within the Périgord countryside, the warmth and character of the people who live there, the description of meals prepared - all of the above brings this lesser known corner of France very much alive. The weakness for me lies in the storyline itself and the final rush of everything coming together. Still, all in all, a good read. You can be sure I'll be ...more
Jan 06, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Bruno is as delightful a character one could hope to meet. Walker's depiction of this part of France is spot on. I was only there a week so I cant pretend to speak with authority, but it did make me miss it and want to return. The mystery is a good one and the pacing is leisurely, just the way I like it with this series. Enthusitically recommended.
Jan Schindler
Sep 02, 2012 Jan Schindler rated it really liked it
Liked it a lot altho one of my favorite characters meets an untimely end.(reason for 4 not 5 stars) Walker carefully blends life in a small French town with mystery and contemporary life to make a wonderful read! Highly recommend series.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I feel like this was an improvement on previous books in the series. Still not something I can see myself re-reading, though. It makes me sad that the US publisher is putting these out a year after the UK editions.
Marina Sofia
Apr 18, 2013 Marina Sofia rated it really liked it
So enjoyable for anyone who has any knowledge of France (especially rural France). Fun characters and an easy, pleasant style. Plus an interesting topic - archaeology, scientific research rivalries, PETA protesters and Basque separatists - it doesn't get more topical than all of this.
Meg Lynch
Jan 16, 2016 Meg Lynch rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one because it combined, although lightly, archeology and Basque nationalism.
Doreen Richards
Feb 22, 2017 Doreen Richards rated it liked it
A fun book to read. Interesting to read about an area of France that i know little of and imagine the smell and taste of the dishes that are prepared. Interesting as well to learn some of the history of the area. Bruno is all wise except when it comes to his love life.
Cynthia  Scott
Feb 16, 2017 Cynthia Scott rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the story, the complexity of the historical events of the past century affecting the goings on in St. Denys. Great meals described, accompanied by great wines, companionship. The frisson of passion.
Jan 19, 2017 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Fascinating mysteries! Well crafted characters. Beautifully described location. And the food, OMGosh! Bring on book 5?!!!
Oct 24, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
I'm hooked on the Bruno series- fun, delicious discussion of food and wine and history
Nov 20, 2016 Joannaandrosmsw rated it really liked it
another enjoyable Inspector Bruno book.
Jan 26, 2017 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
So far, this is my favorite in the series.
Lynne Perednia
Jan 17, 2017 Lynne Perednia rated it did not like it
Done with the series after tendencies seen in first three went completely over the top in this one. Bruno is Mary Sue perfect and

Walker has killed a dog in three out of the four first books in the series. This one was definitely one too many.
Uwe Taechl
May 27, 2014 Uwe Taechl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Review of the German edition:
Im vierten Fall geht es um die nächste Spezialität der Franzosen, den Foie gras. Dazu kommen sensationelle archäologische Funde und ein Toter, der erst wenige Jahrzehnte unter den historischen Fundstücken liegt.

Archäologische Fundstücke beweisen, dass schon vor 30000 Jahren im Périgord gelebt wurde. Eine Sensation, die dadurch getrübt wird, dass man bei der Ausgrabungsstätte einen Toten findet, der vor ungefähr zwanzig Jahren dort vergraben wurde.
Außerdem gerä
Oct 28, 2013 Avadhut rated it it was amazing

Martin Walker’s Bruno Courreges series has a special place on my bookshelf. I have read three books so far (in no particular order) and all of them have been outstanding. The Crowded Grave has multiple interlinked story lines that make a complex plot and yet Walker maintains the charm of French country life that includes Bruno’s delicious recipes and special wines. This is a very delicate job and Walker maintains this balance splendidly.

An archaeological te
Nov 01, 2015 Andrea rated it liked it
I’ve been enjoying the Bruno, Chief of Police series immensely, and so as I started this fourth entry set in the small village of St-Denis, I was looking forward to another great story. The beginning did not disappoint. A new magistrate has arrived in the village, a young woman named Annette, who is rumoured to be quite extreme in her views on both feminism and animal rights. One of St-Denis’s major industries is producing foie gras, duck or goose liver which is considered a delicacy by many, bu ...more
Cathy Cole
Jul 18, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Line: For once, the chef de police of the small French town of St. Denis was carrying a gun.

It's spring in St. Denis, and although Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges would like to spend it taking morning walks with his Basset hound Gigi, spending even more time with his lady love Pamela, and eating and drinking with his many friends, it's not meant to be.

An archaeological team is in the area looking for Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal remains. Instead the team finds a skeleton with a watch on its
Oct 08, 2011 Ellie rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
At the site of a ground-breaking archaeological find, a more recent burial is discovered. With an important summit being held in the region, authorities are on the look-out for Basque separatists all the while trying to protect the local foie gras farms from animal activist attacks.

You would think that either Basque separatists or archaeology would provide a fascinating vehicle for a crime novel. However even the dead body takes a back-seat to the foie gras industry. The first 60 odd pages are p
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Martin Walker is the U.S. bureau chief for The Guardian (London), a regular commentator for CNN, and a columnist for newspapers in the United States, Europe, and Moscow. A published novelist and poet, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, the novelist Julia Watson, and their two daughters.

More about Martin Walker...

Other Books in the Series

Bruno, Chief of Police (10 books)
  • Bruno, Chief of Police (Bruno, Chief of Police #1)
  • The Dark Vineyard (Bruno, Chief of Police #2)
  • Black Diamond (Bruno, Chief of Police #3)
  • The Devil's Cave (Bruno, Chief of Police, #5)
  • The Resistance Man (Bruno, Chief of Police #6)
  • Children of War (Bruno, Chief of Police #7)
  • The Patriarch (Bruno, Chief of Police, #8)
  • Fatal Pursuit (Bruno, Chief of Police, #9)
  • The Templars' Last Secret (Bruno, Chief of Police, #10)

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“draped two slim slices of cooked foie over each piece of toast, drizzled the honey-vinegar sauce over each one. Isabelle took the plates to table as Bruno put the portions of anchaud into the red wine and shallot sauce and left them on a very low heat alongside the potatoes. Finally he took an opened bottle of Monbazillac from the refrigerator, four fresh glasses and joined his guests around the big table that took up one side of his living room.” 0 likes
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