Cover Image: Pel Among the Pueblos

Pel Among the Pueblos

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Member Reviews

Pel is a French policeman who has to go outside his comfort zone to solve a case. Pel's comfort zone is quite a small area of France so overseas travel is not really for him! A good read.
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This is the second book of the series that I have picked up but not the next in the order that the books were written. If you have not read any of the previous works, it does not matter as much (as I can attest) since this works well as a standalone as well.
Pel is a reasonably high ranked officer who is set in his ways and a competent detective. He is handed a case that seems convoluted, to say the least. The inclusion of the history of the Mexican-French relationship thrown into the mix does not help matters.
There are two significantly different parts(that are obviously linked) to the book: the mystery itself and Inspector Pel's misery. The mystery was complicated, and the investigating officers (French and Mexican alike) worked really hard to see it to its conclusion. This, however, was not what held my attention. It was the disparaging comments that Pel thought and voiced about his fellow populace at different stages of the narrative. Some were funnier than others, but the overall presentation was fun, and I actually ended up reading it in a few sittings.
There's an apt dialogue that may echo with others who have travelled through lands where languages that are not even remotely similar to something they are familiar with is used."You simply decided, pronounced them, and stood by your decision, and if there were problems, you just shouted louder." It definitely made me chuckle. It is not a perfectly engrossing book but has many high points, and I liked it better than the previous one that I read. As reprints go, I am glad this one is available to a whole new audience.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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The late Mark Hebden was a genius and his delightful series involving the often taciturn and disgruntled Chief Inspector Evariste Clovis Désiré Pel should have earned him a well deserved right to French citizenship.
In this hilarious episode originally published in 1987 Piel gets a really big headache untangling some rather unsavory Franco-Mexican criminal shenanigans involving murders, an unwelcome trip to Mexico, some spicy and indigestible food especially if your are hailing from Burgundy and the 1860 invasion of Mexico by the French.....
It kept me in stitches for a few hours with its clever plot and its fabulous cast of prissy and flirty Gallic men and loud and gaudily dressed Tequila drinkers.
An unforgettable clash of civilizations written with lots of flair and delicious verbal pyrotechnics. Pel deserves to be known and this marvellous series to be enjoyed over and over  without any moderation whatsoever! Bravo👍

Many thanks to Netgalley and Farrago for this terrific ARC
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Farrago Books for a review copy of Pel among the Pueblos, the eleventh novel to feature Inspector Pel of the French Police Judiciaire in Burgundy, originally published in 1987.

When two ageing gangsters are killed it doesn’t take Pel and his team long to establish who, when and where, but the why escapes them. Soon Pel is on his way to Mexico in search of his perpetrator and a crash course in Emperor Napoleon III’s 19th century ill fated venture into Mexican politics.

I had heard of Inspector Pel, but had never got round to reading any so I grabbed the opportunity to try something new. I enjoyed this foray, which is a grand adventure with a touch of humour. 

The plot is the main thing in the novel and it is suitably interesting to hold the reader’s attention. There is plenty of action and twists to keep the reader engrossed and its slightly absurd turns keep them amused. It is well thought out and neat in its conclusion. I must admit, however, that I found the subplots, various different crimes in the region, funnier and more interesting.

The novel revolves around Pel and his attitude to life. Initially it is quite funny but it soon becomes tedious and stale.

I’m glad I read the novel as it is clever and well done. Personally I think it is a bit dated in its attitudes and it would not encourage me to read more.
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What a fun book!   Inspector Pel is called to the scene of a shooting.  One of the people murdered is known to the police and his bodyguard.  The man, Navarro,  is French with Mexican heritage and had a degree in fine art.
During the course of their investigation, it appears that the 19th century French intervention in Mexico could be relevant to finding out what has happened.  Navarro's girlfriend has also gone missing and the man that is thought to be responsible for the murders is also nowhere to be found.
In the meantime the team are dealing with regular false alarms at a local shop and an alarming number of car thefts where the cars are not being found.
When the murderer is tracked down in Mexico, Pel is despatched to collect him.  A task that turns out to be far more complicated than it first seems.
With the help of De Troq and Barrbal, their Mexican contact, they embark on the trail of the murderer and treasure.
This is a nice fun book, but also interesting, if like me, you didn't know anything about the French in Mexico in the 19th century.  It did throw me a bit when the characters refer to the last century, but you soon realise this book was written quite a while ago, before emails and mobile phones!
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Pel En Route To Mexico….
The eleventh Inspector Pel mystery finds the enigmatic Pel faced with a double killing and en route to Mexico. He has his work cut out. Another thoroughly entertaining, clever and enjoyable read - laced with humour, sparky dialogue and Pel an attractive protagonist with plenty of foibles. I found it another wonderful read, a perfect addition to this excellent series and am looking forward to more from Inspector Pel.
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