Perhaps because I have missed traveling so much, I looked for mystery series set in places I’d like to visit, and I turned up the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker, which is set in a small town in the south of France.
I think I hoped for something like M. L. Longworth’s Verlaque and Bonnet series, but I just couldn’t get into it. I read two in the series–because sometimes it takes two to really get into the characters–but the second one didn’t pull me in. One reason is that the main character, Bruno, seems flat. He’s a local policeman (I gather the most local–there seem to be many kinds of police in France, all fighting for territory) but of course always knows better than the detectives and higher-ups. But there isn’t any real basis for this, no feeling of why Bruno figures it out. His relationships don’t feel real; there just isn’t any sense of a real emotional connection. I didn’t hate these by any means, but I couldn’t get lost in them, and they didn’t have the sense of place I was looking for.