Another case for irascible Inspector Pel--still plagued by the smoking habit, assorted aches and pains, and a landlady addicted to TV at top volume. The murder victim: Madame Camille-Jeanne Chenandier, found bloodily dead in the posh home she shared with wine-exporter-husband HervÃ‰, neurotic daughter Odile, and self-possessed housekeeper Estelle. But Madame, as Pel soon discovers, also had lovers (including a next-door-neighbor). And what about her husband's pseudo-business trips to Paris? Pel and likable Sergeant Darcy, then, spend a lot of hours checking alibis and motives. But the break in the case comes with the hit-and-run death of the Chenandiers' gardener--which sets off Pel's talent for detail and his usual touch of inspiration. Less convoluted than some previous Pels: well-paced and solidly plotted country-French copwork, carried off with competence but no fireworks.