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Death in Brittany

(Kommissar Dupin #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,241 ratings  ·  447 reviews
Commissaire Georges Dupin, a Parisian-born caffeine junkie recently relocated from the glamour of Paris to the remote (if picturesque) Breton coast, is not happy when he is dragged from his morning croissant and coffee to the scene of a curious murder. The local village of Pont-Aven-a sleepy community by the sea where everyone knows one other and nothing much seems to happ ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Minotaur Books (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  3,241 ratings  ·  447 reviews

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Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for some light traditional police procedural mystery set in an atmospheric location, in the tradition of Donna Leon’s Comissario Brunetti series, and I found it in Jean Luc Bannalec’s Commissaire Dupin series.

Although a bit eccentric and grumpy I found Dupin quite likable (yes, I know, he could treat his coworkers a little bit better 😂) and it’s much appreciated he’s not dragging along some big trauma from his past.

The murder mystery is pretty straight forward and I found the art
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The owner of an hotel gets killed and shortly thereafter follows his son. What can a family run hotel offer any motive when the owner according to his doctor was fatally ill.
|Commisioner Dupin transplanted from Paris to Brittany as a policeman will have to find an answer to this question which will shortly change into an investigation whose answer might lie in the past when Port Arven was a place for artists like Gauguin.

JEAN-LUC BANNALEC is a pseudonym for Jorg Bong a German writer. The author
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
Ronald Roseborough
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, murder, crime
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
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. ...more
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.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing mystery with a great setting!
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start of a great police procedural series. Jean-Luc Bannalec is the pen name of a German who is in love with Brittany and this is well transferred with these books. It is not as if the mystery is neglected. The reader should not be put off by the way Dupin's attitude towards some of his juniors in this book as that changes with the second book onward. ...more
Richard Brown
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
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. ...more
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.
Deale Hutton
The book was only good enough to keep me reading until the end. Commissaire Dupin was sort of interesting, but was not really well developed other than his penchant to hang up the phone and not return calls. Rather than hints at the mur derer or a developing plot line the author chooses to have his Dupin, main character ,write 'things' in a notebook. We are not privy to his writings. I did find interest in evaluating suspects, but received no clue from the author. I finished the book because of ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
A nice crime fiction set in Brittany. It is very much a classic, procedural detective novel where the focus is on uncovering who committed the crime and where the detective is slightly unfriendly and unconventional. The mystery is well constructed but don’t expect to be sitting on the edge of your seat while reading the novel. The atmospherics of the Brittany setting gives added character, and I hope than in the further books in the series this will come forward even more.
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.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of a love affair.

Merged review:

I have read all 5 in English. They just get better. I just learn even more about Brittany.
Michael Martz
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Death in Brittany' is a real old-fashioned whodunnit, and I mean that in a good way. It's set in a pretty part of the world, Brittany, the writing (translated from French) seems almost courtly, the characters are quirky but not annoying, the main character is flawed but effective, and the story proceeds at a pace that could never be called breakneck. And everyone is all so French: opinionated, provincial, polite in the extreme, and prone to hyperbole.

The main investigator and 'star', Georges D
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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)
Courtney Chartier
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been looking for a new mystery series, and this one is a great fit.

We learn bits and pieces about Commissaire Dupin throughout the book, but the focus is on the work of solving a mystery (it's a grind), not some sort of tortured past or special talent. The Commissaire's only vices are coffee and entrecôte; there's even a sly joke that he's misunderstood as a detective because he isn't a drunk, or a drug addict, or unable to hold a relationship, or dark...he's just a bachelor detective with
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
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. ...more
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Play Book Tag: Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec 3 stars 1 10 Jun 18, 2019 08:00AM  
Play Book Tag: Death in Brittany (Commissaire Dupin, #1) by Jean-Luc Bannalec - 4 stars 9 13 Dec 27, 2018 08:59AM  
translator? 1 7 Jun 28, 2018 09:02AM  

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Other books in the series

Kommissar Dupin (9 books)
  • Bretonische Brandung (Kommissar Dupin, #2)
  • The Fleur de Sel Murders (Commissaire Dupin #3)
  • The Missing Corpse (Commissaire Dupin #4)
  • The Killing Tide (Commissaire Dupin #5)
  • Bretonisches Leuchten (Kommissar Dupin, #6)
  • Bretonische Geheimnisse (Kommissar Dupin, #7)
  • Bretonisches Vermächtnis  (Kommissar Dupin #8)
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