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

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,663 ratings  ·  216 reviews
When a bevy of winemakers descend on Saint-Denis, competing for its land and spurring resentment among the villagers, the idyllic town—where Benoit “Bruno” Courreges is the town’s only policeman—finds itself the center of an intense drama, with suspicious fires at the agricultural research station that is working on genetically-modified crops.

Two young men—Max, an enviro
Paperback, 303 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Vintage (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,412)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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
Jan Schindler
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
Another great read from Martin Walker. On to the next one....
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
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
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
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
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
Peter Herrmann
First time I've read a Martin Walker book. The book seems more about rural French life than the mystery investigation (not that there isn't one). I imagine a Francophile would like this book very much. I must not be a Francophile. Not that I have anything against France ... but I couldn't help thinking, while reading this, that although the foreigners living in or visiting this village (St Denis) are accepted by the locals, in a non-story-book world that would be unlikely (certainly so in my cas ...more
The 2nd in the Bruno series and set in Saint-Denis, what I consider the French version of the Three Pines, this was the perfect read for me during this past week. It gave me a wonderful escape into a charming French village where everyone knows one another and where food and wine are as important to living as the deep friendships that bind them.

So when a fire burns a research center out in the woods and activists against GMOs are suspected, Chief of Police Bruno steps in to investigate. But whe
I love Martin Walker's books. They are intelligent,informative, and descriptive of the French countryside.

Uwe Taechl
German Edition:

Ein amerikanischer Weinproduzent plant Weinberge rund um Saint-Denis aufzukaufen, um die industrielle Herstellung im Périgord voranzutreiben. Die Meinungen im Ort sind gespalten, die Auswirkungen unklar und als schließlich noch eine Leiche in einem Weinfass gefunden wird, bleibt Bruno nichts anderes übrig, als sich höchstpersönlich um die Angelegenheit zu kümmern.

Setting und Stil:
Genau wie im ersten Teil merkt man jeder Seite an, dass Martin Walker mit Herz und Seele das Bu
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.
Bruno is an interesting fellow, a policeman who loves his rural French town of Saint-Denis,in the Dordogne winemaking region of southwestern France, is ever courteous but tough-minded. Arson is what Mr. Walker opens with, arson of an unregistered crop, which turns out to be part of a GMO study. Bruno goes about the business of discovering the arsonist and the murder of one of his chief suspects as the arsonist. A back-to-the-land commune, French-style, is of course under suspicion, even though B ...more
Having not read the first book in this series I didn't have the context for the main characters in The Dark Vineyard, but the author does a good job of filling in most of the blanks. This is just the sort of mystery that I normally like: a pleasant location, Saint-Denis in the Dordogne region of France in this case; a likable and sympathetic police inspector; and an assortment of individuals who have their own ideas about their lives should unfold. On the downside, Bruno's love interests verged ...more
John Lee
As the subtitle of the book says " A novel of the French countryside," and so it is. I wonder if it is quite as idyllic as the author makes it sound or as we like to imagine it.
This is my second in the series ( although after my recommendation of the first to her, my wife has now completed the series.) which I found a very easy and comfortable read. There is the who-done-it element , and I got it right this time, but that is almost secondary to , and almost an intrusion in, the catalogue of Fren

The charms of southwestern rural France shine in this 2009 Bruno, Chief of Police, mystery. Delicious meals with friends and traditional grape-stomping festivities count among the charms.

The charms do not include, of course, the two suspicious deaths, the suspicious investment offers from a man who wants to buy vineyards, the suspicious fire at the research center for genetically modified crops, or the fight-inducing love triangle among a local and two visitors.

Someday, Walker might surprise hi
Carey Combe
I don't think I will try another one...
After 80 pages I thought it seemed to give a good impression of normal life in the French countryside.
The story brought in several possible new loves for the rather classically French policeman, Inspector Bruno, but I won't spoil the story for you by saying how successful he was with how many!
The plot was nicely mysterious but I felt the "false leads" weren't fleshed out enough to convince me in a short number of pages. However, it was interesting how the plight of the French wine industry in th
Bruno, the chief of police returns in this mystery to solve the case of a murder that seems destined to upset the Mayor's plans for improving the economic situation of the lovely small town in the Perigord region of France. The story begins innocently enough with a deliberately set, very destructive fire at a local experimental agricultural station that had been operating quietly under the radar for some time. A potential scandal and the suggestion of a terroristic attack by green activists vie ...more
Very interesting book about a small village policeman who is very good at his job and has no interest in leaving the small village in France were he resides. Bruno is very good at reading people and dealing with politics of all types - whether dealing with the mayor of the village or the internal politics, especially with his superiors, in the law enforcement community. Then there is his love life, which seems to be taking a turn for the better by the end of the book.

Ah, the American's are the b
Jun 30, 2012 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fiction fans, foodie/wine fans
I discovered Martin Walker's charming Bruno Courrèges series only this summer. "The Dark Vineyard" is the 2nd book of the series and follows the first, called "Bruno, Chief of Police". The title of 'Chief of Police' is a bit of a misnomer as Bruno is actually the only policeman in the fictitious village of Saint-Denis which is situated where the Vézère River flows into the Dordogne River (approximately where, in real life, the village of Limeuil is located) in the heart of the Périgord region of ...more
In The Dark Vineyard, Bruno, the Chief of Police in Saint-Denis gets called in when there's a fire at a research station for genetically modified crops. Bruno suspects that some local environmentalists are to blame and begins looking at that angle. Meanwhile, winemakers are interested in the land around Saint-Denis and Bruno is concerned that his small town is about to get very crowded. He has his hands full with suspicious characters and two mysterious deaths, but still finds time for romance, ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Page number 3 20 Oct 08, 2012 02:10AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
See this thread for more information.

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
More about Martin Walker...

Other Books in the Series

Bruno, Chief of Police (8 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: A Bruno, Chief of Police novel
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)

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