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Death in Pont-Aven

(Kommissar Dupin #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,298 ratings  ·  359 reviews
At the Central Hotel in Pont-Aven, Brittany, ninety-one-year-old manager Pierre-Louis Pennec is found murdered. Commissaire Georges Dupin and his team take on the investigation and narrow the list of suspects down to five people, including a rising political star, a longtime friend of the victim and a wealthy art historian. Further incidents – first a break-in, then anothe ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 25th 2014 by Hesperus Press (first published 2012)
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,298 ratings  ·  359 reviews


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Cathy (cathepsut)
An armchair mystery by a German author with a French pen name, possibly trying to re-create Maigret in Brittany. Pretty boring. We get a bunch of aimless interrogations/interviews, dialogues that consist of many repetitions, a lot of walking and driving around and a fairly uninspired criminal case. Around the middle the plots gets a bit more interesting, but there is a distinct lack of suspense. The solution to the mystery is just as lackluster and one of the pivotal moments towards the end play ...more
Raven
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you’re keen to discover some new French crime fiction, Jean-Luc Bannalec is a real find. Death In Pont-Aven introduces us to Commissaire Dupin, a cantankerous Parisian caffeine junkie, who polices the small Breton village of Pont-Aven, a sleepy community near the sea. Everyone knows everyone else and nothing much seems to happen. However, one morning he is dragged from his coffee and croissant to the scene of a murder at the local Central Hotel. The housekeeper has discovered the 91-year-old ...more
Lesa
Ready for an atmospheric, traditional police procedural? Jean-Luc Bannalec's Death in Brittany was a bestseller for many months in Germany after its 2012 publication there. It's not a fast-paced thriller, though, so it won't make the bestseller lists here. It's for those of us who appreciate a thoughtful police officer and the slow unraveling of a crime. In addition, there are the beautiful small towns of Brittany to entice a reader.

Commissaire Georges Dupin was banished from the Paris police fo
...more
Tuck
i guess like all bestsellers, inherently? they appeal to low level reading, and this being an international bestseller, it is universally poor plot, characters, sense of place? anyway, a police procedural set in small towns on coast of nw france...our detective is a renegade but gets down to business in his own way.
for better atmospherics, local scenes, and deeper thinkers in detection i like camilleri's books set in sicily Game of Mirrors ; dibdin's in naples Game of Mirrors ; mcilvanney in gla
...more
Elisa
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, St. Martin's Press!
The way this book describes the town of Pont-Aven and the whole region of Brittany and its ambiance is a delight. The characters are well developed and the mystery develops at a steady pace, leaving a great taste in the reader's mouth. The one problem with this book is that it will make you crave Commissaire Dupin's morning croissant. A wonderful read!
Kathy
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More like 4.5 stars for me
I was fortunate in waiting for available copy of this book that I could also check out the second of this series at the same time. The third I was able to place on hold. I do love finding a new and very interesting police investigator (Commissaire Dupin) who does his own thing in his own way in his own time. A fourth book in the series will come out in Spring 2019. There is also a German television series already made and can be viewed on you tube. How's your German? Th
...more
Franziska
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-readings
This was a very enjoyable crime story. This could be the perfect book for you particularly if you like france, breautiful small places near the ocean, wine, coffee, art and the better life in general. Or if you like me just want a break from the cold grey February weather.
Nicole
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing mystery with a great setting!
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
I really enjoyed this, a good start to a mystery series set in Brittany with a strong sense of place. Not grim, but not cosy either. Reminded me a lot of Donna Leon's Comissario Brunetti series set in Venice. Only downside is that I was permanently hungry for café and croissants, desire to go on holiday to Brittany asap and googled Gauguin a bit too much.
Richard Brown
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really excellent new murder mystery. Comissaire Dupin, the hero is a great character and the descriptions of the area are so good I actually visited a few weeks ago and had coffee at his favourite restaurant.
John Lee
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasnt what I was expecting at all. When I briefly scanned a review or comment about this book I got totally the wrong idea. I was expecting an ordinary french village policemen similar to Chief Inspector Bruno , the only policeman in St Denis in the Dordogne in the novels by Martin Walker. Instead I got a sharp Police Commissaire from Brittany who, although a little unorthadox, was a quick witted murder detective. However, the current fashion in the modern police (and other) work to keep ev ...more
Christine Zibas
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something to be said about writing that is so wonderfully descriptive that it can transport its readers to a place they may never have visited before. Such is the case with "Death in Brittany," the first in a series featuring a caffeine-driven, food-loving Commissaire Georges Dupin, a Parisian transplant who's been living and working cases in Brittany for three years and will forever be considered an outsider.

Dupin has unusual investigative methods, but in the end, they get their crimina
...more
Ronald Roseborough
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder, crime, mystery
Reading this story is a bit like tasting wine, sometimes you savor the sweetness, sometimes the taste is a little dry, and sometimes you notice a hint of something you can’t quite put a name on. French Police Commissaire George Dupin finds himself in charge of a murder investigation in the village of Pont-Aven located in the picturesque provence of Brittany. Being a native Parisian himself, he still feels out of place among the Bretons, their old Celtic traditions, and their suspicious attitude ...more
Clare O'Beara
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe-crime
Brittany and Pont-Aven are the main settings for this police procedural. If you are allergic to French names, tread with care. At the start of tourist season in the coastal town, the police detective Dupin who is enjoying the contrast with Paris, is summoned to inspect the scene of a murder. A prominent businessman has been found dead - of course, nobody had any grudge against him, and the rest.

We see a lot of the historic and attractive setting as Dupin investigates. For instance, the Bretons
...more
Pam Mertens
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story; it held my interest to the end. The murderer was not who I thought it would be, given all the possibilities. And the descriptions of Brittany made me want to add that area of France to my travel list. I'm looking forward to reading more of Commissaire Dupin.
Cathy Cole
Bannalec has written a mystery with a marvelous sense of place, complete with some of its fascinating historical background. His descriptions are so vivid it was easy for me to picture the beautiful setting. The mystery is also a good one, with tie-ins to local history and to Paul Gauguin.

What is lacking in Death in Brittany is characterization. It's all about the investigation here. None of the characters come to life. Dupin's two inspectors become mere minions after very brief introductions.
...more
Claire
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ready to pack my bags for a trip to Brittany. Nicely convoluted plot and good atmosphere and description. Looking forward to more in the series.
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Commissioner Dupin is called from his base in Concarneau to the nearby village of Pont-Aven to investigate the murder of 91 year old hotelier, Pierre-Louis Pennec found dead in his hotel dining room. There are plenty of suspects but no apparent motive or forensic clues so it is up to Dupin to work it out with the help of his assistants, Inspectors Labat and Le Ber.

Death in Pont-Aven is a leisurely stroll through South Brittany with a little crime thrown in for good measure. Very much in the styl
...more
Mary Bennett
This book is our Mystery Group's selection for this month, and it is a charming police procedural set in Brittany.  I have never read any of his books, but my husband who travels annually to Germany said that the books in this series are very popular there, and apparently there is a tv series based on this series.

The book starts off with the brutal stabbing of a ninety-one-year-old hotelier, Pierre-Louis Pennec who was found dead in his hotel.  (The murder, however, is not graphically described)
...more
Anne
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect murder mystery! It's cozy, it's thought-provoking, it gives you wanderlust--what else can you ask for!

This was actually my second time reading Death in Brittany and I still loved it! Commissaire Dupin is a grumpy, irritable, unlikable character, so of course, I love him. His character is balanced out by the other characters throughout the book, Le Ber, Labat, Nolwenn, Cassel all help fill out the story. However, the most important character in the whole book is probably Brittany its
...more
Ian Hales
Not bad! Not the greatest thing I've read, but not a complete waste of time. The translation was a little annoying. I didn't like how they would choose certain words to be in French. It's like in old movies when a character from Mexico speaks English, but still uses words like Adios, senor, and si.
KA
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Really solid plot; really simplistic--even naive--writing style. The author belongs to the "tell, don't show" school of storytelling.
Catherine Woodman
I really enjoyed the Martin Walker books set in Bordeaux and was searching for something else set in France. This book, set in Brittany (another great region I have not been to) and it is good. The far fetched plot has to do with a Gauguin that was left for a restaurant owner over a hundred years ago leads to the death of two.
Nancy
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Quirky Detective, Gauguin, and Murder

Although Pont-Aven is not his territory, Georges Dupin is assigned a brutal murder case because the Commissaire for that area is on holiday. Dupin isn't enthusiastic about the case. A famous hotelier has been murdered in the bar of his hotel. There are few clues, but the pressure is high to find the murderer, particularly since it's almost tourist season in Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven is a delightful small town in Brittany that was once home to a famous artist's co
...more
Susan Oleksiw
This book was an international best-seller, and I expected to like it a great deal. Unfortunately, I didn't. First, the detective, Commissaire Dupin, begins and ends every incident with what sounds like exasperation and grows into irritation and impatience. He seems to have no other interior life or thoughts, and hardly knows what to do with the paltry evidence he collects. He rushes hither and yon, and gathers a lot of irrelevant information and misses the more obvious results of standard inves ...more
Booknblues
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, mystery, series, art
For somebody who is a pretty omnivorous reader but junk foods on mysteries, finding a new series is an exciting prospect. One doesn't want to have too many series going at the same time or we end up feasting on our junk food or not keeping up with the series. I think with Jean-Luc Bannalec Commissaire Dupin series, I may have found a new series to read.

The setting of Brittany is intriguing and with the first bookDeath in Brittany, set in Pont-Aven where many artists including Gaughin gathered a
...more
Pam
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death in Brittany opens with Commissaire Georges Dupin sitting at the Amiral, a very traditional cafe and restaurant across from the gorgeous “Blue City”, Concarneau. As the picturesque city is described in loving detail, you get your first inkling that this is not just another mystery. Oh, it is a mystery, as revealed by the phone call that disturbs Dupin’s breakfast. A body, Pierre-Louise Pentec has been found murdered in his hotel.

With that the mystery begins. Its a pretty standard mystery w
...more
Jo Dervan
The proprietor of a fabled hotel in a quaint village in Brittany is murdered. The man, 91 years old, was a beloved fixture in the town with no apparent enemies. Commissaire Dupin and his 2 assistants have the task of solving the crime. They learn from the man's will that although the hotel was to be given to the surviving son, the older man had 2 other heirs including a mistress. Then there is an estranged half brother who is a politician and had been excluded from the will.
Dupin and his assist
...more
Antonia
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I’ve tried Donna Leon (Commissario Guido Brunett), Louise Penny (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache) and now Jean-Luc Bannalec (Cimmissaire Georges Dupin) . . . but I think police procedurals are just not my cup of tea. At the halfway point, I still didn't feel very drawn in and didn't care whodunit. Having finished the book, I've concluded that the point is not to care whodunit, but to figure out whodunit — before the Police Commissioner does. (Which I did not.) What I enjoyed most about this book ...more
John
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this book but as it was the first of the series perhaps there was a fair amount of introductory information to impart to the reader in order to get to know Dupin. I will try the next one (when it's published in English) to see if it gets going a bit quicker and whether Dupin becomes a bit more likeable.

I thought the plot was interesting and quite inventive with plenty of red herrings. The descriptions of the locations (most of which I have been to) were very evoca
...more
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Play Book Tag: Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec 3 stars 1 7 Jun 18, 2019 08:00AM  
Play Book Tag: Death in Brittany (Commissaire Dupin, #1) by Jean-Luc Bannalec - 4 stars 9 12 Dec 27, 2018 08:59AM  
translator? 1 3 Jun 28, 2018 09:02AM  

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Other books in the series

Kommissar Dupin (7 books)
  • Bretonische Brandung (Kommissar Dupin, #2)
  • Bretonisches Gold (Kommissar Dupin, #3)
  • Bretonischer Stolz (Kommissar Dupin, #4)
  • Bretonische Flut (Kommissar Dupin, #5)
  • Bretonisches Leuchten (Kommissar Dupin, #6)
  • Bretonische Geheimnisse (Kommissar Dupin, #7)
“Una mar en calma nunca hizo buen marinero.   Dicho bretón” 1 likes
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