Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Body in the Castle Well
Bruno, Chief of Police #14
BY Martin Walker

Knopf / Random House LLC
June 2019/ ISBN 052551998X
Mystery / Police Procedural / France / Contemporary

Reviewed by  LJ Roberts

The body of Claudia, an American art history student Claudia, is found at the bottom of a well. Initially, drugs are suspected. Or is it related to Claudia's digging into the past of the art historian and scholar with whom she had been studying? And what about the young falconer, recently released from jail, who had become friends with Claudia. It's up to Bruno to find the answers.

Walker creates characters one would want to know. While Bruno is the central character, those around him are fully developed and interesting. The victim's mother is a good example of that. There does always seem to be someone floating around Bruno's romantic life.

Beginning the story with a search and discovery of a body determined to have been murdered is an interesting approach and provided some of the best suspense of the book. There is good police work done, and a very nicely done plot twist. The actual mystery is very good. but one wishes there had been more focus on it. Instead, the mystery becomes rather lost among all the information on the resistance, wine, art, falconry, jazz, and Josephine Baker. It is interesting, but after a while, one begins to feel as though one were Clara from the old Wendy's commercials wondering "Where's the beef?".

Bruno is a strong character with an interesting background. One hopes to see more of that in the next book.

The Body in the Castle Well does have very good moments and a solid mystery at its heart, but the resolution was somewhat disappointing. This is not Walker's best book. Significant editing would have helped tighten the plot and made the story more effective.


Reviewed 2019