The Richebourg Affair

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Crime Scene Books, Jul 30, 2014 - Fiction - 328 pages

Who’d have thought it?

Commandant Truchaud of the Paris police is used to dealing with villainy and violence in the French capital, but when he is summoned home to Burgundy on the death of his brother, he finds a seething vat of theft, fraud and cold-blooded murder fomenting beneath the serene surface of the little village of Nuits-Saint-Georges.

·               What is hidden behind the cellar walls?

·               Who wanted his brother dead?

·               Why does Inspector Molleau have a loaded pistol in his desk drawer?

As Truchaud digs deeper and deeper into the mystery, he discovers that, for some people, Richebourg is quite literally a wine to die for…

The Richebourg Affair is the first of a trilogy set in and around Nuits-Saint-Georges, following Truchaud through three different wine-related scandals over the course of a year in the Burgundy vineyards. 

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User Review  - cissa - LibraryThing

The Richebourg Affair is a well-paced, complex mystery set in the hereditary vineyards of France. In many ways it's akin to a "cozy," but the more leisurely pacing and the more thoughtful development ... Read full review

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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
The Richebourg Affair is a debut mystery novel by author R.M. Cartmel. It is set in the wine country of France and it features commander Charlemagne
Truchaud, a detective with la Police Nationale out of Paris. Following the death of his brother, Commander Truchaud travels to the town of his birth to make arrangements for his brother's funeral. His brother was a winemaker. While there, he discovers two important things: his brother may have been involved in some shady business and his father has Alzheimer's disease. This immediately complicates what Truchaud believed would be a short trip. After the death of another winemaker, Truchaud concludes that there is foul play in the profession and he sets out to discover a devious plot revolving around his family vineyard. To accomplish his goals, the detective uses his police team in Paris and couples it with available assistance from the local force in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The mystery is well-conceptualized and development moves at a pace suggestive of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Ever so gradually, Truchaud's personality is teased out as he interacts with his immediate family, the family of other winemakers and the local gendarmes. The interactions between the local police and Truchaud are memorable and it is truly rewarding to see trust and cooperation grow from skepticism. Just when you think you might have figured out the key figures in the mystery, Cartmel throws another spanner in the works. The Richebourg Affair is a fun read in which the reader is fed tiny nuggets of gold which later lead to the gold mine itself.

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About the author (2014)

 R.M. Cartmel has been a writer one way and another since being a medical student at Oxford. After a long career as a successful and much sought-after GP, R.M. Cartmel decided to retire from practice and dedicate himself full-time to the creation of crime fiction. This is his first novel.

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