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In Banon, a small, peaceful village in upper Provence, the local community's principal source of income is the cultivation of truffles. Outsiders rarely venture to this remote region, but a small group of society's drop-outs have chosen to set up home on the outskirts of the village, and trouble ensues. When one of them is found dead in the freezer of a local hotel, and when a further five bodies are discovered drained of blood in a family vault in the cemetery, it takes all Commissaire Laviolette's considerable resources to unravel crimes that have been committed in a climate of age-old superstition and secret animosity. Not since Jean Giono has any writer been able to capture the authentic flavour, spirit and traditions of Provence.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099470229
ISBN-10: 0099470225
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 13mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » 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. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Pierre Magnan

Pierre Magnan was born in Manosque in 1922 and has rarely left his native Provence. In 1943, during the Occupation, he fought with the Resistance in the Isere, and in 1946 he published his first novel, L'Aube Insolite. During his lifetime he published over twenty novels, four of which have so far been translated into English. He died in May 2012, at the age of 89.

Books By Author Pierre Magnan

Essence of Provence by Pierre Magnan

The Essence of Provence

Paperback, September 2012
Murdered House by Pierre Magnan

The Murdered House

Paperback / softback, November 2010
Messengers of Death by Pierre Magnan

The Messengers of Death

Paperback / softback, September 2009
Death in the Truffle Wood by Pierre Magnan

Death in the Truffle Wood

Paperback / softback, September 2008