The irascible Inspector Pel has failed to give up smoking. A Gauloise magically calms his nerves, in spite of his efforts, and good nerves are just what he needs when a student's mysterious death and the discovery of a corpse in the boot of a car start to uncover a fledgling drug ring.
What is worse, the ring is operating within the university of his own Burgundian city. More murders follow and the trail leads Pel to Innsbruck, where the soignee mistress of a professor turns out to be rather more than she seems.
Moody, sharp-tongued and worrying constantly about his health, Inspector Pel ensures that no case goes unsolved, in these mordantly witty French mysteries.
Praise for the Inspector Pel Mystery series:
'Totally convincing.' Financial Times
'Mr Hebden has created a nice band of flics.' Oxford Times
'Pel and his procedurals are some of the best things since Maigret.' Observer
'Chief Inspector Evariste Clovis Desire Pel, as well rounded a character as Maigret or Van der Valk.' Punch
'Impeccable French ambience, unexaggerated flics, and a well-constructed solution. Hebden proves again that few understand Gallic cops better than English writers!' The Times
'Some characters grow as their saga lengthens and Pel... is one of them. You might say he is ripening along with the grapes.' Police Review
'...written with downbeat humour and some delightful dialogue.' Financial Times
'...all is most cunningly contrived and dovetailed into a coherent plot.' Irish Times
'A thoroughly entertaining read.' Evening Standard
'The best Gallic sleuth since Maigret.' London Mystery Selection
'Mark Hebden's best novel yet... will please the Inspector's many fans.' Coventry Evening Telegraph