Death in the Truffle Wood is one (the second perhaps? maybe the first to get an English translation?) in a series by French author Pierre Magnan featuring Commissaire Laviolette. The author was 89 years old when he died in 2012.
These have been adapted for TV and film, but I've never seen them. I think I'd like to try one of the tv episodes and see what it's like. The characters in the book were an interesting and quirky bunch, and I'd think it would translate well to the small screen.
from the back of the book:
In a small, peaceful village in Provence, the principal source of income is the cultivation and sale of truffles. When Commissaire Laviolette arrives to investigate why several of the town's citizens are missing, it isn't long before their bodies turn up. It takes all of the detective's ingenuity to unravel crimes whose origins are as old as the truffle woods.Mystery Scene opens a positive review with this: "Originally published in 1975 in France, it's taken a long time for the first of the novels in Pierre Magnan's Commissaire Laviolette series to reach these shores. Worth the wait? Absolutely." EuroCrime says, "This is an absolute delight to read. Atmospheric, down to earth, funny and combined with an intriguing whodunit." Publishers Weekly says it's "beautifully translated" and that it "brings to life the quirky, earthy peasant culture of the Provence region." Kirkus Reviews concludes, "Magnan ... supplies enough plot twists and sharp shafts of wit to add up to smartly sublime entertainment."