The welcome return of Inspector Pel (Pel is Puzzled, 1981)--the French-village bachelor cop with hypochondria and a cranky landlady. His new case: a disfigured corpse has been found at the site of a memorial to Nazi-murdered resistance fighters. Could this murder be connected to long, bitter memories of the German occupation? And what about Paul-Edouard Piot, the rich playboy who owns the memorial site and uses an earth-digger with apparent abandon? Or Plot's sullen, suspicious neighbor--a Czech with a disappearing wife and a strangely large bank account? Well, things become ever more complex, especially when a second murder (the local postmaster) comes along. But, though slow to start, this intriguing, literate case builds in suspense to a convincing finish: classy entertainment for mystery fans with a fondness for Gallic textures, tricky WW II secrets, and ironic touches.