Death in the Truffle Wood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Death in the Truffle Wood (Laviolette #2)

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Long a renowned crime writer in France, Pierre Magnan has won numerous prizes and has a huge popular following in his native country. Now, with this mouth-watering series debut, Magnan introduces the celebrated Commissaire Laviolette to U.S. readers.

In Banon, a small, peaceful village in upper Provençe, the local community's principal source of income is the cultivation an...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 270)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karen
I used to read a few cosies, although I was never totally addicted. But I've always been a huge fan of the quirky, odd and the just ever so slightly bats. Colin Watson, Charlotte MacLeod have been favourites for years. I'm adding Pierre Magnan to the list now.

Originally published in French in the late 70's, DEATH IN THE TRUFFLE WOOD was translated into English around 2005. There are a number of books in this series featuring Commissaire Laviolette, although I don't think Roseline makes an appear...more
Laura
I simultaneously liked and disliked this book. Liked: quirky characters, rural location, truffle-hunting pigs, amusing 1970s setting. Disliked: terrible translation in spots, terrible proofreading (really, St. Martin's Minotaur???), lame repeat-for-the-reader ending (and leaving one character's motive in question, although you can certainly guess), all women described by breast size, hair color, and weight in kilos (in that order), unexpected sex/nudity popping up here and there. I suppose I was...more
Lisa
Death in the Truffle Wood is a great little mystery, more old school than not. The premise is that deep in the heart of truffle hunters' Provence hippies last known to be at at a nearby commune keep disappearing. The unassuming Commissarie Laviolette is sent to lay low and see what he can see. Laviolette is a charming creation, a tough guy of tender susceptibilities. He has a bit of a wicked streak to his humor as well. The Commissaire also has a disarming love for stray dogs. Who couldn't love...more
Marfita
Jun 13, 2011 Marfita rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marfita by: Someone at the cozy mystery discussion on SL
Shelves: mysteries
First of all, I'm appalled by the cover. How do I know this takes place in France? Perhaps by the man in the horizontally striped boating shirt and the red beret? Where's his baguette?
Alyre has a prized Trüffelschwein who indicates clues everywhere but is ignored. Alyre is proud of his beautiful but unfaithful wife but, as he apparently loves the pig more, he doesn't let it bother him much. He is more upset when someone throws a stone and injures the pig.
Hippies who come to his town tend to dis...more
Ulysses
Having really enjoyed Pierre Magnan's The Messengers of Death, I was pretty excited to finally get around to reading Death in the Truffle Wood-- what with it having been written before MoD, I figured DitTW would be just as good, or probably even more so. Not quite, as it turns out-- although the book is still a pretty entertaining read. As with MoD, the immersiveness of the book's atmosphere is far and away its greatest strength-- Magnan sketches the rural Provence town where the story takes pla...more
Pierre
Oct 27, 2007 Pierre rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Francophiles; food lovers
Shelves: mystery, meh
An interesting read. The book starts out mysteriously and as it progresses, the writing and the mystery becomes more and more obscure. While the translator has managed to retain the French cadence of the text, the story is difficult to follow. The prose is wonderful though, and paints a beautiful picture of the French Provincial Countryside.

I can understand why other reviewers disliked the book, and my initial rating has now dropped from 4 to 3 and then to 2 stars. First, the transitions between...more
Michel
Mar 05, 2009 Michel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Judy
Shelves: doulce, mystery
Makes you smell the winter in Haute-Provence: the corky bark of the oaks, the rotting leaves, the sweaty sheep indoors, the wood burning stoves, the onion soup, the smoky cafe, the misty air…
And the contradictions of the 60s: avarice and poverty, superstition and hippie free love, diffidence and naivete, the hard unforgiving life in the midst of truffle riches. Claude Chabrol.
Then why only 3-stars? Didn't like it enough for more: musty atmosphere but no characters, I guess; we don't care that so...more
Hilary Tesh
Translated from the French, which shows in some odd phraseology and, at one point, the sudden adoption of the first person plural to describe the weather! Disappearing hippies bring Commissaire Laviolette to a small village in upper Provence, in the depth of winter, to investigate. We are introduced slowly to the locals and it's chapter XIII before the first body is discovered. More corpses follow and another murder before the clues build up and lead the Commissaire to the murderer. It's all ver...more
Amanda
'The weather was too cold and too hostile for two people not to be irresistibly drawn together, given the opportunity.'

'It's difficult to remember a rambling conversation on a relaxed afternoon, with nothing more pressing to do than gently warm a balloon of good brandy in your palms.'

'Viaud was the one who found it - a slim brown volume, but a miserable, dirty brown - sitting in a bulbous chest of drawers beneath hundreds of love letters tied with pink and blue ribbon, more redolent of death th...more
Sarah Diesing
The author does a fantastic job of showing you the French countryside, French country people and their unique personalities. What he doesn't do is create a gripping story or crime to solve. The story doesn't make you try to figure the mystery out but just records the character's reactions to the murders.
Cynthia
I'm glad I read this in English, not the original French, because it's so disjointed and loopy... If I'd read it in French, I would have been confused and thought it was my fault... I was disappointed in this book for several reasons. For one, the cover copy implies it's a "new" series but it was in fact written in the late 1970s. The plot revolves around "hippies" living in a French commune, so obviously Hippies and Communes are a different thing if you're reading about them in 1978 vs. 2009. A...more
Clémence En catimini
Un livre dont on se plait à relire de nombreuses phrases plusieurs fois, tellement savoureux! Le contexte est très chouette, et la langue si vivante et juste qu'elle nous laisse presque des odeurs et des sensations en tête et en bouche.
Jerrilynn Lilyblade
Apr 26, 2014 Jerrilynn Lilyblade marked it as to-read
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12639298
Rich
Pierre Magnan, who died earlier this year, was the master of ’Provencal Gothic’, and Death in the Truffle Wood shows why. His ’unremarkable’ series cop Laviolette investigates the disappearance of a number of hippies from the town of Banon and uncovers a bubbling pot au feu of sexual obsession, avarice, witchcraft and truffles. Laviolette is an engaging protagonist, but the real heroine of the piece is the lovingly described truffle-hunting sow Roseline. Five stars.

Read my full review at http://...more
Fiona
Very enjoyable read and moments where you want to yell out "look behind you!" . And a great pig. All good.
Mel
It was a bit strange. I had to really concentrate to keep up with who was who. Think I need something 'lite' now.
Monica
Three stars for the descriptions of the countryside and village life in Provence in 1978.

Two stars for the characters - especially Roseline, the truffle hunting pig, and Mambo, the dachshund whose master is killed by his sister in a fit of greed. Laviolette is a conscientious cop, but a bit of a cipher.

Negative two stars for the plot. Lust crazed truffle farmer kills hippies to pour their blood on his trees to improve the yield so he can buy more jewels for his mistress who loathes him - how m...more
^
I just don’t understand it. I simply couldn’t latch into the plot of this book. I repeatedly lost my sense of time, place, and action. Eventually, half-way through, I stopped and looked at a fraction of my large stack of books-yet-to-be-read-for-the-first-time. So I resolved “That’s it. ‘Death in the Truffle Wood’ has had its chance. I’ve failed to find the truffle.”

Yet superficially everything about this book; plot synopsis, characters, location, time, cover design: all appeal to me.

Very puzzli...more
Sharon
This French police procedural finds Inspector Laviolette back in the area of France in which he grew up. He's there to observe and try to figure out what has happened to several young hippie types who have seemed to disappear into thin air while soujouning near the village of Banon, in Provence.

I enjoyed the reading though this was much lighter fare than usually found in the books my favorite French mystery writer, Georges Simenon, and his famous detective Maigret.
John
A strange story. I'm not sure whether I liked it or not. Rather macabre with a hint of dark humour.
I wish my French was good enough to have read it in its original form. It is difficult to know if the style of writing is down to the author or the translator. Very unsatisfactory ending. I'm not sure why the body was in the freezer.
Despite this I feel that I would like to try at least one more of his books.
Anne
Death in the Truffle Wood, a Mystery in Provence, was written in 1978 by Pierre Magnan, a popular mystery writer in France, and recently translated into English which has brought Commissaire Laviolette to American mystery lovers. There are some descriptions of village life in Hautes Provence which are charming and funny, but the mystery itself and the characterizations are thin. Read for the atmosphere.
Deb
Takes place in village in Provence. Someone is killing the "hippies" that are traveling thru the village. The village makes their money thru the truffles they find on their land and sell. This killing interrupts the whole process. It gets resolved by the infamous Insp. Laviolette. Book won a lot of awards. Writer is famous in Europe and has won a lot of awards for his books.
Kris
I liked the truffle-hunting pig the best, and he did not have enough scenes in this murder mystery.

Some of the book was a bit difficult to follow, but the twisted plot about the murder of hippies was still interesting. Looking forward to trying one of the author's other books. I think he especially did well on the relationship between the pig and the owner.

Cailin
I couldn't finish it, which is saying something. It was just too hard to follow. I felt like new characters kept getting introduced and then were left hanging. I'm told that if I had finished it everything would've been tied up nicely at the end, but I just couldn't continue reading.
Happy
I read this book whilst travelling in France, to read about Provence village life and truffles.
The story was based around several young hippies disappearing in the region - a murder mystery of sorts.
It was a light read and good entertainment, easy to put down and pick up.
Robin
As pleasurable a read as Messengers, full of beautiful prose - though not quite as off-handedly funny as the other Laviollette book I have read. Still, a great page-turner that has me earnestly awaiting a translation of another Magnan detective novel.
Cleo
A fun mystery - French author - english translation. At first I thought Pink Panther - but now I think Peter Falk as Columbo. If you have an acquaintance with French culture you will enjoy this -- sort of like needing to know British humor to enjoy BBC
Clare
This book did not live up to the reviews I had read. It does include some interesting French cultural info/history and I like some of the characters but some were not fleshed out enough to be of any real interest.
Bridget
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shirley Evans
I stopped reading this apology for a novel a little more than half way because I was bored. I can't think of anything positive to say about it and I don't know why I lasted so long.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
436590
Pierre Magnan was a bestselling French author of detective novels steeped in the sights and sounds of his beloved Provence; to readers, his sleuth, Commissaire Laviolette, was as indelibly linked to the land of lavender as Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse was to the colleges of Oxford.

Magnan’s autumnal years were prolific; he wrote more than 30 books and saw his novels adapted for French television...more
More about Pierre Magnan...
The Murdered House The Messengers of Death Beyond the Grave Innocence The Essence Of Provence: The Story Of L'Occitane

Share This Book