Pel and the Missing Persons

Mark Hebden, Author
Mark Hebden, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (238p) ISBN 978-0-312-06441-9
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Bad humor is raised to a fine art by French Chief Inspector Pel, who in more than a dozen books ( Pel and the Party Spirit ) has shown a liking only for his rich wife, Gauloises and anything Burgundian--to him, Burgundy ``wasn't a province of France, it was a religion.'' Now Pel is unhappy about a series of daring robberies by a motorized gun-toting gang, about losing some of his staff (reassigned due to a rise in the number of missing persons) and about an old man found dead, apparently a hit-and-run victim. Who is the old man? And why, among other anomalies, was there no blood at the scene? Pel and his loyal aides--aristocratic DeTroq', handsome Darcy et al.--manage to answer all questions in a tale involving decades-old blackmail, murder and greed. Procedural aspects are handled as superbly as ever, although sharp-eyed readers may spot a crucial murder clue before Pel does. Fans will be pleased, especially with the ongoing feud between Pel and his equally irascible cook, Mme. Routy, whose swap of insults at the door is ``another little daily ceremony taken care of.'' (Dec.)
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