The food! The romance! The murder….

Hungry for good books? How about good food? This review should have you drooling.

Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer

THE BODY IN THE CASTLE WELL:  A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel. By Martin Walker. Knopf. 337 pages. $25.95.

Did you know Josephine Baker owned a house in the Perigord? The expatriate American chanteuse’s home is now a museum. Bruno, that self-described “country policeman,” now chief of police of the entire region, also books summer concerts for the area, and he books his colleague into the museum to impersonate La Baker. Amelie is going to —

What? The mystery? Oh, yes, the mystery – when will Bruno hold a dinner party at his farmhouse, and what will he cook? He decides on page 198 to hold a dinner party for Amelie. He then broods about and buys for the event while going about his daily business, until the guests arrive 62 pages later. No spoilers here; it will make you drool, mais certainement!

 Who will end up in Bruno’s bed is also a mystery. No spoilers here, either, just a mention of the sensual orgy — two paragraphs describing the preparation of the post-coital breakfast. Bruno whips up —

Oh, the MURDER. Well, that’s in the title. The Body In The Castle Well belongs to a rich American student. Her father is somebody who gives a lot of money to somebody in the White House. Subsequently, a lot of important people show up in St. Denis to eat, drink and get in Bruno’s way while he solves the murder. In order to do that, he has to travel into the past, all the way to Vichy France, to unearth the reason the girl has to die in the present. Once he puts together “motive, means, and opportunity,” he sets a trap for the villains. A twist at the end is just the icing on the cake — or should we say, the crème on the brulee. Once again, great reading, great food.


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