A reclusive film actress finds it challenging to report a murder when the victim won’t stay put.
Like Commissaire Georges Dupin of the Commissariat de Police Concarneau, film star Sophie Bandol is a Parisian transplant to Brittany. And like Dupin, she’s come to admire the rugged beauty of the land, never failing to take a daily walk along the river from Port Belon to the estuary. But one day her stroll is interrupted by the sight of a corpse covered in blood in the parking lot at the tip of Pointe de Penquernéo. Always a good citizen, Bandol calls the police, but by the time Dupin arrives, the body has vanished. He wonders whether the aging actress is just confused or someone is playing a very deep game. He’s inclined toward the latter by the appearance of a second body, one that sticks around long enough to be identified as Seamus Smith, an oyster farmer from Scotland. Since Port Belon is the epicenter of Breton oyster culture, it makes sense that Smith would be in Brittany to visit his French counterparts. Unfortunately, none of the local oystermen admits knowing him. As the case unfolds, Dupin, fresh from the famed salt farms of the Guérande Peninsula (The Fleur de Sel Murders, 2018, etc.), must now learn enough about Breton oyster farming in the Belon, home to the tastiest mollusks on Earth, to crack his latest case.
Bannalec offers a tidy puzzle and offbeat characters galore, but as usual, it’s Brittany itself that’s the star of the show.