When an actor in a local play is attacked during the performance, Bruno must learn whether it was an accident, a crime of passion—or an assassination attempt with implications far beyond the small French village.
The town of Sarlat is staging a reenactment of its liberation from the British in the Hundred Years' War when the play’s French hero, Brice Kerquelin, is stabbed and feared fatally wounded. Bruno, in the audience, is told that the stricken man is number two in the French intelligence service, in line for the top job. Bruno is tasked with the safety of the victim’s old Silicon Valley buddies, ostensibly in town for a reunion, along with his daughter, Claire. As Bruno investigates, he learns that a Taiwanese member of the group, a leading figure in chip fabrication, is on the verge of an invaluable breakthrough, and the French government is involved. But powerful forces in Russia and China are determined to scuttle that arrangement. Wading through a tangle of rivalries and secrets, Bruno begins to parse out fact from fiction—while also embarking on an affair with Claire, and of course finding time to put together some splendid meals.