The Charlemagne Connection
By R.M. Cartmel
Commander Charlemagne Truchaud is back. After the Paris police detective deftly defused the killer in Cartmel’s debut novel, The Richebourg Affair, he assumed his life would more or less return to normal. He returned to his home in Paris, but soon learned that his father’s Alzheimer’s disease was quickly progressing so he must return to his family home in Nuits-Saint-George’s to help care for his dad.
Like many of us, Truchaud is torn. He realizes that his family has to take priority over his career. Unfortunately his decision will not come without a cost. His Divisional Commander willingly agrees that Truchaud needs to help his sister-in-law take care of his worsening father. Even though his boss tells him not to worry about his job in Paris, one of his ambitious co-workers may have another plan.
To complicate matters even more, as soon as the detective arrives at his family’s home and vineyards, he discovers the Nuits-saint-George’s police department has an urgent need he is expected to fill. Instead of interesting cases in Paris, he is now in charge of petty crimes and traffic altercations. But not for long.
The detective takes up residence in the small town, at the same time a young German girl and her friend come to town in search of her brother. He has been missing for months and the clues they found in his apartment have lead them to the tiny village.
Amidst language barriers, cold trails and raging hormones things go from calm to complicated faster than Constable Lenoir’s driving. Lucky for Truchaud, Sergeant Natalie Dutoit can speak to the Germans and comes to assist with the missing person case and often the driving.
The mystery deepens, dad gets worse, and Truchaud realizes he is in love but cannot bring himself to tell her. The Charlemagne Connection has a lot going on, all of which is entertaining, interesting and intriguing. The end is perfect, and leads me to believe there will be another book in this series. I can’t wait.
As flavorful as a good vintage, with many complimentary layers that are subtle, yet elegant, Truchaud is the perfect detective. Reminiscent of a Parisian Poirot, Truchaud has a bit of Peter Faulk’s Colombo in his personality to balance his tenacity. A bit of bumbling at times makes him endearing as well has his love of Grateful Dead CDs.
Cartmel weaves a masterful tale. His plot is solid from the first word to the last, leaving no stone unturned in the telling of the mystery much like his hero, Commander Charlemagne Truchaud. The story twists and turns, wrapping around itself much like the beloved vines in the small village vineyards.
I highly recommend this series. I do suggest reading The Richebourg Affair first as there are spoiler alerts in The Charlemagne Connection. It will soon become obvious that you will want to read both of these mysteries anyway, so read them in order.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman