Martin Walker ©ALR

Author of detective novel

  • Scottish
  • Inhabitant of Bugue

The ambassador of the Dordogne abroad

Little known in France, Martin Walker is a famous writer in Anglo-Saxon and German-speaking countries. 

First an editor in prestigious newspapers such as The Guardian or the Los Angeles Times, he then tried his hand at literature in the “detective novel” genre. Martin Walker has enjoyed success in many countries such as the United States, England and Scotland where he comes from.

« Bruno, chief of police », the work of Martin Walker

The story of Bruno Courrèges, known as “Bruno” is a saga of nearly 20 volumes. Only 3 of them are translated into French and available in bookstores in Dordogne. 

Bruno, the hero of these novels, is an epicurean municipal police officer. His missions take place in a village called Saint-Denis. Invented for these novels, this town is nevertheless very similar to the Périgord villages. Martin Walker was indeed inspired by the towns of Sarlat, Bergerac and the villages of Eyzies, Buggy, Saint-Cyprien or Trémolat to be as faithful as possible to the Dordogne department cited in all his books.

 Through local investigations which sometimes take him far from Saint-Denis, he thwarts the plans of highly placed people. Little sensitive to national or European police rules, he defends above all his little preserved corner of France and his terroir. 

Bruno, chief of police was published in 2008 in the United Kingdom and then in North America. It was only in 2012 that France saw it appear on its shelves.
The saga continues with The Dark Vineyard  in 2009 then Black Diamond, The Resistance Man ...

Discovering Périgord with Martin Walker

The writer has a house in Washington and one in Vézère Valley. It is therefore not uncommon to see Martin Walker in the streets of Buggy, especially on market days. He is always happy to chat with his readers. 

Aficionados of Bruno, the central character of Martin Walker's work, prepare their trip by following in the footsteps of this police chief well-established in Périgord. The character of Bruno is also inspired by the former municipal agent of Le Bugue.

We find a good part of the Vézère valley in the different volumes of Bruno's adventures. The sorcerer's cave at Saint-Cirq is mentioned in the first work baptized in French  Murder in Périgord . In Dark harvests  (the second opus) we discuss the vineyards of Périgord and wine production around the world.

Note that Bruno has his own bottle of red Bergerac! The family business Julien de Savignac, based in Le Bugue since 1983, has dedicated one of its vintages to the hero of Martin Walker's novels. The writer does not hesitate to collaborate with this local actor by participating in organized events or by making a short visit to the cellar from time to time. 

A lover of the Périgord Noir and the whole of the Dordogne, Martin Walker gallantly lends himself to the journalists' game when it comes to international promotion. He is inexhaustible on panoramic gardens of Limeuil, knows perfectly the secrets of Périgord gastronomy and speaks English with a slight French accent (or the opposite, we don't know!) to perfection. 

You can see this by going to the Noir Vézère show which is held every year on the square of Le Bugue town hall. This event brings together writers of dark novels, from Dordogne or all over France. Activities are offered around this theme during this event which takes place at the start of summer. 

Other works by Martin Walker

The author diversifies and now offers numerous works around the kitchen (Gourmet journey in Périgord, Bruno's Cookbook), his passion that he shares with his wife Julia and other chef friends.

La Périgord gastronomy is of course in the spotlight in these works including “ Brunos Kochbuch: Rezepte and Geschichten aus dem Périgord » which was rewarded at the Gourmand International awards in 2015.

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