From the Publisher
“Delightful . . . brings to life the quirky, earthy peasant culture of the Provence region.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An intellectual feast . . . worthy of that other master of the French mystery, Georges Simenon. A winner.” Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Amusing…truly chilling…Magnan should easily ?nd a niche with American readers who enjoy atmospheric, well-plotted mysteries. The Gallic charm doesn't hurt either.” Denver Post
“Delightful and unusual . . . successfully combines elements of Christie's old-fashioned gentility and Mayle's French pastoral. . . . [W]ill please both mystery readers and Provence lovers.” Booklist
“Whether you like truf?es or pigs, it is dif?cult to imagine anyone not relishing this savory dish of a book.” Washington Times
“Delectably venal . . . consistently excellent and exquisitely descriptive. Vive Laviolette! Vive Magnan!” Mystery Scene Magazine
“Deliciously rambles among quirky members of the populace and often macabre aspects of the case. . . . Smartly sublime entertainment.” Kirkus Reviews
“A classic murder mystery.” Indianapolis Star
First published in 1978, this delightful mystery from French crime writer Magnan (The Murdered House) brings to life the quirky, earthy peasant culture of the Provence region. One November evening, Roseline, an enormous, truffle-sniffing pig, escapes from her owner, Alyre Morelon, leading him into the woods, where an unseen figure injures the sow and then runs off. When Superintendent Laviolette arrives from Marseille to investigate the disappearance of five young people, Alyre demands his assistance in identifying Roseline's attacker. The overall humorous tone contrasts with a number of grisly incidents, including the discovery of a body in a freezer and a throat-slitting. The author treats village politics as well as the quarrels and liaisons of his marvelous characters with sly wit and compassion. Beautifully translated, this one should win Magnan new U.S. readers. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Commissaire Laviolette uncovers crimes and bodies in a small Provencal truffle village in this U.S. import. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
The swine are restless in this blast from the 1970s, and several hippies are missing. Shrewd Commissaire Laviolette arrives in the little village of Banon in Upper Provence to conduct an investigation into some passing strange goings-on. Truffles are Banon's main industry. Aside from truffle farmers and their pigs, the other leading citizens are social dropouts who've set up a commune. Farmer Alyre Morelon suspects members of the commune of harming his prize sow Roseline, who had deviated from her truffle-routing routine to sniff out unusual byways. Meanwhile, while stranded in Banon, a wealthy young woman kills her brother Jeremy with a wrench as he's changing their flat tire. Later, she watches in horror as a dark figure drags his body away. When Roseline and several of the hippies turn up missing and/or dead, the charismatic Laviolette-in his fourth outing, though his first translated into English-arrives to sort out the truth. The tale deliciously rambles among quirky members of the populace and often macabre aspects of the case, punctuated by Laviolette's droll conversations with his old friend the Marquis des Bredes, who becomes an unexpected victim. Magnan (Beyond the Grave, 2002, etc.) supplies enough plot twists and sharp shafts of wit to add up to smartly sublime entertainment.