- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (August 30, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307700143
- ISBN-13: 978-0307700148
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 207 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Diamond Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 30, 2011
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“Martin Walker’s series is Kool-Aid for Francophiles and a potion to convert remaining skeptics to the joie de vivre that infuses French life . . . [Black Diamond] has all the elements that have attracted a large and growing following to the novels—an endearing hero who is not only a jack of all trades but also master of them, an idyllic village in southern France steeped in culinary tradition, and a host of quirky but lovable local characters . . . Everyone needs a friend in southern France to go spend some time with, and Walker has opened Bruno’s door to anyone who has a few hours to join him in the simple joys of la vie en rose.”
-Darrell Delamaide, Washington Independent
“Before you crack open the pages of Walker’s new novel, make sure and pour yourself a glass of red wine. Better have some cheese with a baguette close at hand too, because this book is deliciously good . . . While the plot is a page-turner, the real allure of this novel lies with the author’s other ingredients: the rich French food, the historical detail of the picturesque region and the eccentric cast of characters, including a truffle-hunting basset hound named Gigi . . . An enticing mix of the savory and suspenseful, a recipe for a great read.”
-Christian DuChateau, CNN
“A charming French village, great food, eccentric characters and a mystery to nudge things along . . . Bruno Courrèges, the village’s brave, brainy and only policeman, has his hands full . . . Bruno traces the links among [the book’s] events, revealing unsavory secrets from France’s colonial history. On the other hand, he eats some memorable meals—and they’re savory indeed.”
-Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
“Gallic charm suffuses Walker’s third mystery of the French countryside . . . Like the aroma of amateur chef Bruno’s venison stew, which virtually leaps off the pages, Walker’s unmistakable affection for the ‘enchanting Périgord’ makes every morsel of this cozy-cum-crime novel a savory delight.”
-Starred review, Publishers Weekly
“A paean to the truffle . . . This political thriller is supplemented by a glorious foodie’s delight, from an author who knows his way around the French passions.”
“In Walker’s hands, Black Diamond becomes a savory mystery, a light concoction with tantalizing ingredients.”
-Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press
“Murder and misdeeds keep French policeman Bruno Courrèges on his toes in this third installment in Walker’s consistently charming series . . . Bruno may be a small-town cop, but he’s anything but small-minded. Walker has created a character who’s endearingly human and worldly wise.”
About the Author
Martin Walker is senior director of the Global Business Policy Council and editor in chief emeritus and international affairs columnist at United Press International. His previous Bruno novels, Bruno, Chief of Police and The Dark Vineyard, were published to international acclaim. He lives in Washington, D.C., and the southwest of France.
Top customer reviews
In "Black Diamond," the mystery is okay, but is far outshone by truffles, other delicacies, and the atmosphere of small-town France. I found it intriguing that the French seem to be having their own problems sorting out immigrants (in this case Vietnamese), although they seem to have a more realistic, humane way of handling the situation than we do in the United States
Bruno, the police chief in a small French town, is an interesting character - and certainly approaches his cases in a different manner than, say, the Belgian, Hercule Poirot. Bruno, though, needs a bit more pizzaz and charm if he hopes to match Brunetti. Martin Walker already offers a few Bruno selections, but has a long was to go to match Donna Leon, with more than 20 Brunetti novels.
Black Diamond is the third novel I've read in this series, and I just ordered three more. The series reflects Walker's obvious love of the terroir, culture, lifestyle, viticulture, and culinary traditions of the region in a way that the reader can't help but share his delight. And besides the author's obvious talent for developing characters, he is great at plot development and pacing, keeping each aspect of the story moving forward even while deliciously describing Bruno's seemingly effortless culinary triumphs prepared in his simple kitchen, always leaving my mouth watering.
The story opens with the shutdown of the local sawmill --a win for local environmentalists, a loss for now out-of-work families and a keep-the-peace challenge for Bruno. Soon after, comes a request from Bruno's hunting companion, Hercule, a former war hero and truffle merchant who's become convinced that something very, very crooked is going on on the local truffle market and wants Bruno to get to the root of it. Then, a key character in the series is brutally murdered. And a very ugly "behind the scenes war" breaks out between the area's legal Vietnamese immigrant business community and boatloads of illegal Chinese immigrants now arriving secretly by night in the South of France. All of the above will turn out to be inter-connected.
Amidst all this, as usual, will be some delectable dining, designed to make us all salivate. And maybe, just maybe, the hint of a newer and better love interest for our hero, Bruno.
The series so far, as of July 2014: "Bruno, Chief of Police," "The Dark Vineyard," "Black Diamond," "The Crowded Grave," "The Devil's Cave," "The Resistance Man" and "Children of War."
Most recent customer reviews
A truly great mix of French, Viet and Chinese history!