FREE – An Inspector Pel Mystery, Book 1

Moody, sharp-tongued and worrying constantly about his health, Inspector Evariste Clovis Désiré Pel ensures that no case goes unsolved, in these mordantly witty French mysteries.

‘Written with downbeat humour and some delightful dialogue.’ Financial Times

Deep in the Burgundy countryside, a murder case is perplexing Inspector Pel. The body was found in the salon, an elegant room with a grand piano and a Louis XIV escritoire. The shutters were still closed and the dead end of a record of Rigoletto was still turning.

There are some obvious suspects, yet the clothes of none of them show any signs of blood. And what were the tensions that must have torn at this family? It’s only when a second murder takes place that the method of the first becomes startlingly clear.

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‘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

‘…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