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Jean-Luc Bannalec Books In Order

Publication Order of Brittany Mystery Books

Death in Pont-Aven (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on Britanny Shores (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fluer de Sel Murders (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Missing Corpse (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jean-Luc Bannalec is a France author of mystery books. He was born in Brest in 1967; his father is Bretone, his mother, Rhinelander. He works in Germany and France and lives with his family in both countries. Bannalec became a published author in 2014 when Death in Pont-Aven the first book in Brittany Mystery series also known as Commissaire Dupin series was released.

Death in Pont-Aven / Death in Brittany

If you are keen to explore some fresh French fiction, Jean-Luc Bannalec is the only man who can quench with his well-crafted French crime fiction series featuring Commissaire Dupin.

The first book in Commissaire Dupin series, introduces us to Bannalec’s main character Commissaire Dupin, grumpy caffeine junkie living in Paris. Dupin polices the village known as Pont-Aven of Breton, a sleepy little community next to the sea.

One morning Dupin is dragged from his croissant and coffee to a murder scene at a local Central Hotel. The housekeeper discovers the body of a 91-year-old hotel manager Pierre-Louis Pennec on the hotel floor. The occurrence of such murder sends both Dupin and the entire community into a state of surprise and shock. However, soon Dupin and his investigative team compile a list of 5 potential suspects, including a wealthy historian, a political star, and a long time a good friend of the dead man.

A mysterious burglary and then another death only makes this mystery more complex as Dupin and his team dives in more in-depth into the lives of both victims and suspects. In his investigations, he uncovers a complex web of greed, silence, and secrecy at odd with the delightful surrounds of Pont-Aven.
Jean-Luc Bannalec has crafted a steadily paced character-driven story, in common with his Italian and French contemporaries. The self-deprecating and surly Dupin is the main driving force throughout the story with his distinctive nature which is entertaining to the reader. We all know the clichés of police detective stories, and Dupin in humor bemoans the lack of drug dependency, neuroses, broken marriages and depression in his own life. However, with his cynical nature, sharp tongue and surprising affection for penguins- Dupin proves himself to be a colorful and quite fascinating character throughout the story.

The precisely opposite of Dupin mysterious background in Paris and the unique independent spirit of the Bretons provides an opportunity for some interesting earthly humor. The author captures the claustrophobic feel of Pont-Aven vividly and also paint a perfect picture of the overlapping communities both shore-dwelling and rural and the strikingly different lives and mindsets of communities within Pont-Aven.

Fueled by art forgeries, murder, scheming neighbors, and family resentment, the story plot is well-paced and engaging from the first page. The plot is injected with Bannalec’s detailed research in links between Brittany and some of French’s well-known painters. The first murder mystery is well fleshed out and also strengthened by not only a series of clues but also the articulately placed re-imagining of the community’s former artists. Throughout the story along with the main character, you’ll be well footed as the culprits come to the fore, all who have a strong motive for murder and a possibility of involvement in theft and murder.

Death in Brittany also known as Death in Pont-Aven is a well-woven and entertaining read. The core of the story is an empathetic and charming detective whose sardonic humor, grumpy demeanor and fixed ways drive the action in the story. His unsystematic form of investigation, interrupted by frequent coffee breaks, puzzles and frustrates his colleagues and potential culprits alike. Compounded by a complex and intriguing murder plot, Death in Pont-Aven brings out the most detrimental aspects of this small rural community to the front; it’s a satisfying read.

Murder on Britany Shores

Ten nautical miles from the shores of Britany lies the legendary Glénan Islands, with their white sand and crystal-clear waters, are like a Caribbean paradise – until one day in the month of May, three bodies are washed up to the shore.

Who are the dead on the beach? Are they the victims of the violent night storm? Everything evidence available points to death by drowning. However, when it turns out that one of the dead was a turbulent entrepreneur with political influence, the other an autocratic sailor with lots of enemies, and Commissioner Dupin suspects foul play

Was the supposed accident on the open sea a cold-blooded murder? Who is the third dead man, and what connects the three men? As the next storm sets in, Inspector Dupin encounters attractive divers, marine biologists, modern treasure hunters, and sinister figures from the over-rich fiction world of the Brittany. The investigation leads him deep into a dangerous labyrinth of entanglements, events are coming to an end – and in the end, the truth, as so often in life, is complicated.

Murder on Britany Shores is a must-read for Bretagne vacationers with excitement and tingle, paired with oysters, traditional village festivals and hard-to-pronounce Breton names and idiosyncrasies.

The Fleur de Sel Murders

Commissaire Dupin is once again back to solve murder mysteries in The Fleur de Sel Murders the third book Brittany mystery series from internationally bestselling novelist Jean-Luc Bannalec.

The old folks have always been quoted saying that the violet scent at harvest time in Fleur de Sel has been known to cause severe hallucinations. Dupin starts to believe this theory when he is attacked when in salt works.

Dupin had been looking forward to fleeing his endless paperwork and taking a vacation to the white country between the idyllic rivers and the raging Atlantic Ocean. However, when he starts investigating around mysterious barrels on behalf of his journalist friend Lilou Breval, he finds himself in deep trouble. Unknown assailant attacks him and not long, Breval vanishes into thin air without a trace. Dupin is assigned to the case thanks to his secretary Nolwenn- but he won’t be working alone to solve this case. The new addition to his investigative team is Sylvaine Rose an investigator who lives up to her name.

Rose and Dupin searches energetically for clues and stumbles upon massive conflicts, false alibis, personal feuds, conflicts of interests and ancient Breton legends. However, with their investigative skills, they’ll leave no stone unturned.

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