Having not read the first book in this series I didn’t have the context for the main characters in The Dark Vineyard, but the author does a good job of filling in most of the blanks. This is just the sort of mystery that I normally like: a pleasant location, Saint-Denis in the Dordogne region of France in this case; a likable and sympathetic police inspector; and an assortment of individuals who have their own ideas about their lives should unfold. On the downside, Bruno’s love interests verged on True Romance territory, nearly, and the main culprit of the story was not terribly hard to spot early on - or, anyway, most readers would have pegged that culprit as being highly suspect from near the beginning of the book. Also, the book suffers from a slight malady common to books set in France written by native English speakers: the apparently irresistable desire to interject italicized French words into the middle of sentences to remind the reader that the characters are, in fact, speaking French. Alors là, we know already!
Nonetheless, this is a pleasant read, and I will certainly read the other books in the series.