One more tidy police procedural with a Gallic accent as Chief Inspector Pel--with the help of second-in-command Darcy and others of his stalwart crew--tackles some perplexing crimes in his beloved Burgundy district (Pel and the Touch of Pitch, etc.). Why has slick, prosperous crook Maurice Tagliatti, newly ensconced with his entourage in a nearby manor house, been gunned down along with his driver? Something big is afoot, and there are signs that nervous Fernand LÃ‰on--owner of a sporting-goods store with some odd equipment in its basement--is involved. Meanwhile, Pel's schoolboy friend and next-door neighbor Yves Pasquier has some dangerous knowledge and must be protected--especially after LÃ‰on also becomes a murder victim. Pel struggles to find the connections between the murders and a huge gold heist in England; bits of modeling day; the relationship between Tagliatti's wife, Sidonie, and his urbane aide, Georges Cavalin. Local sculptor Deville and his Japanese patron are involved, too--so are other crimes with unexpected threads to the main puzzle. Solid stuff, marred a bit by the tediously detailed series of traps that winds things up, but a respectable outing for this dependable author.