Bruno's day has not started well. A summit to be held in a local château is threatened by Basque separatists, and animal rights campaigners are causing havoc. Up to his ears with ETA and PETA, he's not even had time for lunch. And it's about to get worse. A local archaeological team unearths a well-preserved skeleton. Yet it's a lot more recent than they'd hoped - boasting a Swatch on its wrist and a bullet-hole in its skull. With an influx of visitors making Saint Denis almost as crowded as the excavation's grave, the key appears to lie with one of these outsiders. Bruno must think fast and keep his wits about him. Especially as the answer may lie a little closer to home.
Martin Walker and his family have had a home in the Perigord region of France since the 1990s. We were drawn by the food and wine and engrossing history of the place and have become ever more connected to this gastronomic heartland of the country by friends and neighbours, dog and chickens, garden and countryside.
And among the friends is our local village policeman (and Martin's tennis partner) who inspired the series of mystery novels based around Bruno, chief of police.
After 25 years as a foreign correspondent for Britain's The Guardian newspaper, and then another stint in think-tanks in Washington DC and as editor-in-chief of United Press International, the sweet life of the Perigord is a delight.
Still a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre and a senior fellow of the Global Business Policy Council, both in Washington DC, Martin stays connected to the world of global economics and policy. And from giant American wine concerns to Chinese businessmen, from Basque terrorists to animal rights activists, from New York hedge funds to the global arms trade, this wider world keeps intruding into the tiny corner of paradise in Perigord that Bruno is sworn to protect.