Sunday, December 16, 2018

On My Radar: Martin Walker's The Body in the Castle Well

Oh, Happy Day when there's a new Bruno, Chief of Police mystery, right? That's how I felt when I saw that the next book in the series is set to be released in June 2019. I even get a chance to combine two of my regular features since both the US and UK covers of the book are available.

Let's take a look at the covers and then read a synopsis of The Body in the Castle Well, shall we?

oOo  Synopsis  oOo

"A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau. 

As Claudia's White House connections get the US Embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident - or was it murder?

Bruno learns that Claudia had been trying to buy the chateau and art collection of her tutor, even while her researches led her to suspect that some of his attributions may have been forged. This takes Bruno down a trail that leads him from the ruins of Berlin in 1945, to France's colonial war in Algeria.

The long arm of French history has reached out to find a new victim, but can Bruno identify the killer - and prove his case?"

Sounds good, doesn't it? And-- something that doesn't happen very often-- both the UK and US editions of The Body in the Castle Well will be available on the same day-- June 4, 2019. Plenty of time to add it to your wishlist!

oOo  US or UK?  oOo

The publishers of both editions are certainly sticking to the title of the book, aren't they? The UK cover has the castle, and the US has the well.

I prefer the UK edition. That chateau screams France and makes me want to pick up the book. The only quibbles I have are the completely unnecessary blurb at the bottom and the fact that "A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel" and "Martin Walker" don't show up more prominently. 

On the other hand, the US cover has an understated elegance that I really like. There's no blurb!  The title, description, and author's name stand out bright and clear. But surely they could've come up with something more eye-catching than that particular blah photograph of a well?

Now, all you Walker fans and book cover fans, speak up! Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Too close to call? Neither one float your boat? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. So glad to see this is coming out! Always reason to be happy when a new Walker makes the scene. And I'm with you; I prefer the UK cover.

  2. I don't know about this. The UK cover is of a lovely scene a stately castle amidst the French countryside. There is no hint of a murder.
    Now the U.S. cover, although not too attractive screams menace and danger.
    It attracts me as a mystery reader. What happened to the body in the well? Whose is it? Why is it there?
    So, while the British cover is more picturesque, the U.S. cover presents a threatening scene which goes with the title.

    1. I really appreciate all the thought you put into your response because you bring up several things that never occurred to me. I don't find the US scene threatening at all. Guess I wandered around a lot of old wells visiting family out on various farms. If I didn't see Walker's name on that cover, I'd walk on by.

      Mystery covers don't really need to appear to be menacing or dangerous for me to want to read them. Some of the most horrible crimes have happened in some of the world's most beautiful places, and from all the reading I've done, most of those gorgeous French chateaux were places of deadly intrigue!

  3. The British cover could be on a book about a happy, wealthy French family living in that big house. Or a story about the history of the castle: who owned it what happened in it, etc.

    The U.S. cover has a black background and a shadow on the well; both imply menace to me. And I want to know what happened there.

    1. You can read the US edition whilst I read the UK edition, and we'll both be happy. *wink*

  4. Yes! I must add it to my list. But if I read the U.S. edition, which is probably what the library will have, I may get creeped-out as that cover is eerie to me. But why not if the library has it? Oh, to have more time to read.


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