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The Dark Vineyard: A Novel of the French Countryside (Bruno, Chief of Police #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,021 Ratings  ·  330 Reviews
In this riveting sequel to Martin Walker’s internationally acclaimed novel Bruno, Chief of Police, some of France’s great pleasures—wine, passion and intrigue—converge in a dark chain of events that threaten the peaceful village of Saint-Denis.

Benoît (Bruno) Courrèges—devoted friend, cuisinier extraordinaire and the town’s only municipal policeman—rushes to the scene when
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Vintage (first published 2009)
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Richard Derus
Jul 05, 2014 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: In this riveting sequel to Martin Walker's internationally acclaimed novel Bruno, Chief of Police, some of France's great pleasures--wine, passion and intrigue--converge in a dark chain of events that threaten the peaceful village of Saint-Denis.

Benoît (Bruno) Courrèges, devoted friend, cuisinier extraordinaire and the town's only municipal policeman, rushes to the scene when a research station for genetically modified crops is burned down outside Saint-Deni
It is hard not to grab the next book in the Bruno, Chief of Police series after finishing the current read. Once again, the reader is swooped up in the holistic experience of the fictional small town of Saint-Denis (situated loosely in the region of Périgord in France).

Police Chief, Captain Bruno Courrèges, is taking care of his beloved town as usual. His love life is tick-tocking between everlasting and heartbreaking, and 'his people' is thrown into the mystery of a GMO-research facility, the A
Oct 10, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I’d been skeptical of the idea of police procedurals set in the Dordogne, especially since the first book in this series, 'Bruno, Chief of Police,' opened with some hullaballoo about the illegal sale of raw cheese in the small village of St. Denis. I jumped to the conclusion that here was another ‘cozy mystery’, populated with clichéd and overwritten local characters, its plot revolving around quaint but hardly riveting local issues. After a year of reading the brilliant Scandinavian crime write
Tim The Enchanter
I have decided that I will no longer provide in-depth reviews of the middle books of a series UNLESS they make a special impact on me or it is the first or most current book of the series.

This second book in the Bruno, Chief of Police Series, is as enchanting as the first. The book delves into French Wine Trade, French Inheritance Law, French Politics and GMO's while leaving behind a few dead bodies and an intriguing mystery.

This series provides adult characters, mature writing, crime while maki
Mar 27, 2015 Suzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is so easy to be drawn into this series! . Walker writes with knowledge and obvious love for the Dordognes, the area in which Bruno lives. The contemporary issues and politics, part of the fabric of this series, ring true. Here the story revolves around wine production in the region. A big American wine conglomerate wants to buy up land and start producing in and around the town of St Denis. And someone is experimenting surreptitiously with GMO crops in the area. Both of these lead to lots of ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Booknblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is always a great pleasure for me to find a new mystery series and I was lucky enough to become acquainted with Bruno the chief of police in a tiny community in Dordogne, France by reading Martin Walker’s The Dark Vineyard.

Walker has deftly created an interesting series which combines an attractive main character with a wonderful setting, a tasting of food and wine and an exciting mystery. This is not a wham, bam, thank you mam mystery nor is it hard boiled, even though it is exciting from p
Aug 02, 2016 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruno Courrèges is chief of the police municipale, and the one and only officer on the local force, in the town of St Denis (in the Périgord region of the Dordogne, France) where he reports to the Mayor. 'The Dark Vineyard' by Martin Walker is the second of (at the time of writing) nine novels about Bruno Courrèges. I was keen to continue with the series having really enjoyed the first book, 'Bruno, Chief of Police'.

Once again, a large part of the pleasure of this novel is in the evocation of li
First Sentence: The distant howl of the siren atop the Marie broke the stillness of the French summer night.

The alarm on the top of the Mairie (city hall) of St. Denis calls Police Chief Bruno Courrèges and the volunteer squad out to a fire of a field and large barn. Upon investigation, Bruno learns the fire was arson and the property being used to develop GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops; specifically drought-resistant grape vines. The Californians are coming, wanting to buy a large p
Dec 12, 2012 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend passed this book on to me and I found it to be a very pleasurable read. Set in the wine country of the Dordogne in France, this detective series features a village policeman who prefers the rural life to promotion to a higher rank in the city. In this novel, he must find out who burned down a secret research station which is followed by several murders. The policeman must tread carefully as his friends and neighbours come under suspicion, outsiders arrive threatening to buy out the loca ...more
A very good second entry in this series set in a small French village. There was a lot going on with the plot including arson, GMO crops, and a business deal that could change the village forever. The main character, Bruno, was just as smart and enjoyable as in the first book and the narration by Robert Ian MacKenzie was very well done.
Jan Schindler
Aug 18, 2012 Jan Schindler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyed it a lot.Great setting, great writing. Wonderful portrayal of small village life in France as well as a mystery to solve. He mentions wines I've never heard of. Looking forward to the next book in the series and highly recommend them.
Deale Hutton
Feb 03, 2013 Deale Hutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from Martin Walker. On to the next one....
3.5 stars

Police Chief Bruno Correges of Saint-Denis, France is on the spot when a fire destroys a field of genetically modified crops (GMOs) and a nearby barn - which unexpectedly contains a batch of office equipment. Bruno becomes suspicious of the local ecolos (green party members), who vehemently oppose GMOs. He questions Alphonse, the elderly, hippie leader of the "greens' and his foster son Max, a handsome young man who works for a local wine maker and hopes to become a vintner himself. Alp
The second in this book is as charming as the first but my problems with the first have not been resolved. Bruno, the Chief of Police, is again too perfect. He makes all the right decisions, keeps others from making mistakes, knows everyone he should know and everyone loves him. It's all admirable but I think characters are at their best when they're not perfect.

Also the life he leads in his rural path of France is perfect. He has dinners with his friends that are always happy occasions. The vi
Mary Miller
Aug 29, 2012 Mary Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I found "The Dark Vineyard" to be a slow-starter, even though it started with a suspicious fire. I had not read the first book in the series, "Bruno, Chief of Police" so it took a bit of sorting to figure out who all the village characters were. Since it didn't grab me at first, I set it down frequently, which only increased the trouble of keeping the story fresh in my mind. I finally decided to finish the book and finished it over a weekend.
One of the problems and strengths of the book is that
Sep 02, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruno, Chief of Police in St. Denis, along the Vezere, is the perfect antidote to a perfectly ghastly election year. Bruno loves his village, and treats each villager with a respect and dignity that seems almost quaint in light of todays' public behavior. In fact, he wields civility as a weapon, using the traditional shaking of hands/kissing of both cheeks ritual to exert a time-out calming effect on feuding neighbors. He keeps his ear to the ground so when an experimental vineyard burns, as it ...more
Jul 26, 2014 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The first book in the series was in the box of books at one of my bookclubs when I first joined it. It was a favourite but I'd forgotten about it until it was mentioned at a recent meeting. So it was with delight that I discovered a couple more in the series at the local library. Some of the nostalgic glow came of when I read this, the second book, but it was still a good read.

If you enjoy the gentle antics of Guido Brunetti in Venice, you will enjoy Bruno in the French countryside. Both are ge
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
As L. Bob Rife says, I grew up and got old specifically to get away from this adolescent banter. And more importantly, angst. (Somewhat hilariously, this isn't the first time I've alluded to this comment. Hilarious because the contexts are so different. Anyway.)

More seriously, part of the benefit of reading books with older main characters is that there's less adolescent relationship angst and social drama. Theoretically. In this book Bruno angsts a lot about women. It's annoying. Plus, the myst
Shirley Schwartz
Aug 08, 2015 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Bruno Chief of Police series. I was given the first book as a gift and I was hooked. This second book is just as good as the first. I love the setting - St. Denis, France in the Dordogne district. Bruno Coureges is a wonderful protagonist. He's a policeman who knows his community, and he understands human nature. He is smart, compassionate, warm and kind. These books have wonderful secondary characters too and I'm beginning to get to know the whole of community of ...more
May 08, 2011 Forrest rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This satisfying sequel to the very fine Bruno, Chief of Police returns us to the Dordogne region of France, where the residents of fictional St-Denis sit uncomfortably between trying to hold on to their traditions and surviving in an age of rapidly advancing technology and a globalized economy. While the first story turned on issues of race and history and what it meant to be French, this time the focus is on the evolving wine industry and the raging debate over genetically modified crops.

As wit
Dana Clinton
Jan 01, 2016 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dark Vineyard is the second Bruno Courrèges "Mystery of the French Countryside"; I accidentally reviewed the first (Bruno Chief of Police) last week and put it under this title, so I removed that and put it where it belonged! What a nice relaxing series, full of good food and good characters, not as rich as some series I have read, but still delightful and fun to read. This one does delve into the world of winemaking, GMO crops, international business interests.... and is a well-woven tale a ...more
I definitely did not realize this was the second book in a series when I started this. I don't think I missed out too much from not having read the first book, but I guess I was a little disappointed to learn that. While I was initially interested in the plot (wine country, different wine makers), the point of the book wasn't quite as the summary described. I also thought the writing was a little amature-ish. I did like the main characters, but to the characters, some of the twists didn't seem o ...more
Second in the series beginning with _Bruno, Chief of Police_, set in a small village in the winemaking country of southwest France. The winemaking process is described in detail and is part of the crime. The setting and the characters are so charming you can't help wishing you were there. The techniques of simple French country cooking will delight foodies. The author is an American who is clearly in love with the countryside of which he writes. I look forward eagerly to the next book in the ser ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Carolien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, french-crime
A solid sequel to the first in the series set in the picturesque Dordogne region of France. The plot brings together elements of the debate on GMO food and the international wine industry coupled with a focus on how these global trends affect local economies.

The plot was given an interesting twist in the changing nature of the crime committed that resulted in the death of a local Resistance hero and young wine maker. Bruno remains one of my favourite policemen in his very human reactions to the
Nov 15, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ibook, purchased
Book 2 of 7 and a good read. So much so, I downloaded the rest of the series because I am enjoying the stories, crimes, wines and cuisine .....all in beautiful Perigord. Great discussion and detail about wines and the various methods of growing, production and blending. Bruno's lifestyle and friendships also delightful. Recommend this series. The next book is about a scam involving truffles! Fascinating...
Aug 15, 2015 Perri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another charming romp through the French countryside to solve arson and, zut alors! murder. What I like about this series in the touchstone cultural references, In the first book the clash of EU standards for food to the local historical traditions ,and in this one controversial GMO crops. But mostly to enjoy the bonhomie that is Bruno-the biggest mystery to this series is how he remains single!
Jul 01, 2011 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Mediocre. I should have given up a third of the way through when I realized how uninterested I was; it didn't get any better. Walker takes on ecological issues, and how rural communities can use their own resources to keep impersonal corporate takeovers at bay. Not terribly convincing, and written in too polemical a style for a mystery. The first Bruno the flic outing was much better.
Sep 04, 2016 RumBelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My problem with this book, I think, was that I did not care about the subject. I found the whole eco-terrorism plot a little dull. As such, I really could not get into this book. I read it, just to discover the end result, but at times I had to make myself. The subplots involving Bruno's personal life livened things up a little, but, overall in my opinion, I just found the book slow and dull.
Apr 01, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Martin Walker's books. They are intelligent,informative, and descriptive of the French countryside.

Sally Sharamitaro
Mar 02, 2016 Sally Sharamitaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying the Bruno Series
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Goodreads Librari...: Page number 3 20 Oct 08, 2012 02:10AM  
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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)
  • Black Diamond (Bruno, Chief of Police #3)
  • The Crowded Grave (Bruno, Chief of Police #4)
  • 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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