Pel Among the Pueblos
An Inspector Pel Mystery
by Mark Hebden
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 12 Aug 2021
A double shooting of two ageing crooks leads Chief Inspector Pel following the trail all the way to Mexico. Pel and his detectives know how, when and by whom they were murdered; but they must discover why.
Away from his beloved Burgundy, Pel is given a quick course in the history of the French intervention in Mexico during the 1860s. A brief spell among the Pueblos, and a shoot-out under a moonless sky eventually bring him his reward.
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 Désiré 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
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
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.
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!
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
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.