Pel and the Party Spirit

Mark Hebden, Author
Mark Hebden, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-312-05491-5
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
The police procedurals following Chief Inspector Evariste Clovis Desire Pel as he pursues the criminals of Burgundy are unusually fine in their illumination of modern French character and mores. Last seen in Pel and the Picture of Innocence , Pel and his men here suffer the August blues while the rest of France, it seems, is on vacation, when a 30-year-old corpse is discovered in a tower in the ancient town of Puyceldome, which is preparing to draw tourists to its 730th anniversary festivities. At the same time, a motorist is found stabbed to death in the woods near a highway. The body in the tower is linked to a shipment of gold coins missing since an attempted coup against De Gaulle; the motorist may have been killed by two teenaged girls armed with butcher knives. As the investigations continue, a policeman is killed and a young girl kidnapped, and the threads of all the cases draw Pel back to Puyceldome in the midst of its celebration. In Pel and his men, Hebden has created a likable lot, in each volume revealing a little more about their private lives and the politics of provincial France. (Jan.)
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