Bruno, Chief of Police

I don't know if you've come across Bruno Courreges, the star of Martin Walkers 'Bruno, Chief of Police' series of rural crime capers? If not, then may I suggest you grab yourself a copy of one of his ten novels and immerse yourself in the nuances of La France Profonde. 

Bruno, who lives in the fictional town of St. Denis - modelled on Le Bugue, just 10 kms. from here at Le Banquet - takes on everything from murderers and drug pushers, through to arsonists and truffle fraud. All of this but his real battle is preserving the centuries old culture and traditions in this corner of southwest France. Needless to say, he's a good cook and has more than a sneaky regard for good wine!

Bruno was based on Pierrot Simonet, pictured below, Le Bugues' police chief who also apparently avoids taking a high handed approach to policing.

I was a relative newcomer to Walker's novels until last Summer when no less than three sets of American guests and two German stayed at Le Banquet purely to see the Bruno 'trail'.  I had to know and read the fist three books. I knew everywhere that was name checked or eluded to. The nationally famous wine shop in Le Bugue. The old cobbler at the top of rue de Paris. The vineyards at St. Cyprien and on to Bergerac. The weekly markets. The less than EU compliant cheese sellers. It all came alive through Bruno's eyes. Fabulous.

If you have an appetite for the ancient traditions and gastronomy of the deepest Perigord, all woven into the cut and thrust of a criminal plot, then I whole heartedly recommend you buy one of Martin Walker's (below) novels or visit his Site.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation Rob.. I've not come across the author before. I will look out for Bruno in my local library. I like crime fiction as long as there's not too much blood and gore.

    1. Hi Anna. I reckon you'd love his books. They've received positive reviews worldwide and indeed are best sellers.

      I believe Martin Walker was the overseas editor at the Guardian for around 25 years.. Now there's one of the few sane newspapers left in this increasingly polarised world!

  2. Hi Rob,
    sounds like a good read! I love it, when the net of a crime novel is thrown over a town I know. And when there is local food involved, it's even better.
    It's definitely a good time to start reading his books with winter round the corner... at least here in Austria.

    1. Hi Christiane. This is the perfect time to read his books. The truffle season starts around now and his third book, 'Black Diamond' , is all about a counterfeit ring passing off inferior truffles as the famous Perigord black truffle!

  3. Just finished reading the first book, thanks so much for your recommendations. I someday hope to be able to visit Dordogne and stay in one of your lovely homes.


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