In THE CHARLEMAGNE CONNECTION, Police Commander Charlemagne
Truchaud is back. In a sequel
to THE RICHEBOURG AFFAIR, he's working in Paris with his
team, including a gorgeous Parisian detective, Sergeant
Natalie Dutoit. He is an old-style detective who pays
proper attention to police procedure, gathers his facts
slowly but surely, conducts his interviews while always
keeping us in the loop. He sometimes appears bumbling but
he is always tenacious.
Christine Blanchard, manager of the municipal campside on
the edge of Premeaux, comes to the police station to report
a missing person. It is a German tourist who has camped
with her before but has not shown himself for three days.
She is concerned as he always buys breakfast from her. It
is his fourth visit and he's now in arrears for his camping
space. After investigating the missing man, the police
discover he is from Boppard, Germany, a small town on the
Rhine and his name is Helmut Witter. They impounded his
camper in the police pound and in about a month the
gendarmes seem to forget about the camper van rotting
quietly in the back of the police car pound, and apparently
unwanted. They contact his home address, receive no reply,
and the case grows cold.
Called back to his hometown of Nuits-Saint-Georges because
his aging and ailing father with Alzheimer disease has
quickly deteriorated, Truchard takes a leave of absence to
care for his father and help his widowed sister-in-law. His
father recently urinated on his friends' wine vines and his
memory is failing quickly. Truchard is offered a temporary
job as the local police chief and he settles in doing simple
tasks like handling traffic tickets.
Dagmar and Renate arrive from Germany searching for Dagmar's
brother, who turns out to be Hemut Witter. The girls speak
no English or French so Natalie Dutoit, fluent in their
German dialect is called in to help in the continued search.
When they find a decomposed body in the woods, the body shot
in the head, it turns out to be Helmut. Who did it? Why?
Turchard untangles the crime while we sit back and enjoy
wine, food, murder and a cast of characters in a town united
by local wine making. The descriptions of the village
and especially the vineyards were breath taking and vivid.
R.M Cartmel joins the ranks of exceptionally good crime
writers with a great story I found difficult to put down.
The second in the Commander Truchaud series finds the diffident policeman
unravelling yet another mystery in the little French village of Nuits-Saint-
Georges. A young German tourist seems to have gone missing. But what at
first appears quite a straightforward affair soon turns dark when a
decomposing body is found in the woods. Another episode of murder,
mayhem, violence and villainy in the orderly vineyards of Burgundy.