Death in the Truffle Wood (Commissaire Laviolette Series #1)

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Overview

Long a renowned crime writer in France, Pierre Magnan has won numerous prizes and has a huge popular following in his native country. Now, with this mouthwatering series debut, Magnan introduces the celebrated Commissaire Laviolette to U.S. readers.

In a small, peaceful village in Provence, the principal source of income is the cultivation and sale of truffles. When Commissaire Laviolette arrives to investigate why several of the town’s citizens are missing, it isn’t long before...

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Overview

Long a renowned crime writer in France, Pierre Magnan has won numerous prizes and has a huge popular following in his native country. Now, with this mouthwatering series debut, Magnan introduces the celebrated Commissaire Laviolette to U.S. readers.

In a small, peaceful village in Provence, the principal source of income is the cultivation and sale of truffles. When Commissaire Laviolette arrives to investigate why several of the town’s citizens are missing, it isn’t long before their bodies turn up. It takes all of the detective’s ingenuity to unravel crimes whose origins are as old as the truffle woods.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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
Library Journal
Commissaire Laviolette uncovers crimes and bodies in a small Provencal truffle village in this U.S. import. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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.
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 find 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 truffles or pigs, it is difficult 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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753175729
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Series: Commissaire Laviolette Series, #1
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Magnan is an award-winning French crime writer. Death in the Truffle Wood is his first Commissaire Laviolette mystery to be published in the United States; the second, The Messengers of Death, is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    A Quip

    The book is indeed excellent 'as all of Magnan's works are', but I have a quip about the other reviewer's 'Harriet Klausner' review: she refers repeatedly to Roseline's 'the pig' owner as 'she'--well, Alyre Morelon is a man 'his wife is named Francine'and it's hard for me to understand how someone can actually have read this wonderful book and get this wrong!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    In Provence, France, Roseline the truffle-finding pig escapes from her owner, Alyre Morelon. She follows her ¿pet¿ into the nearby woods. When Alyre catches up to Roseline, she finds someone hurt her sow, but that human beast vanished even deeper into the woods.------------------ Marseille-based Commissaire Laviolette comes to Provence to lead the investigation into the vanishing of five young people. However, Alyre, learning that a professional detective is in town, demands Laviolette work her case identify Roseline's mugger. She insists the criminal has cost her money as Roseline¿s nasal inclination is how she makes a living and besides the animal was cruelly injured . Other villagers place demands on the Commissaire, who wants rapid resolution to the disappearances so he can quickly return home to the safety of Marseilles and be away from village politicians.------------------- Although containing a humorous undercurrent mostly caused by the urban cop out of his element in the rural village filled with eccentric townsfolk, DEATH IN THE TRUFFLE WOOD is a strong police procedural with contrasting darker elements. The local ¿wars¿ are cleverly designed to provide amusement and insight as Laviolette struggles with tugs on his efforts to locate the missing people and a killer who sliced a throat and left a corpse in deep freeze. Written in the late 1970s, but just translated, Pierre Magnan provides a fabulous French police procedural that will have American readers seek other translations of his works by Patricia Clancy (see BEYOND THE GRAVE not yet read by this reviewer).---------------- Harriet Klausner

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