M. Pinaud, once the pride of the SÃ»xetÃ‰, is now--hÃ‰las, how have the mighty fallen!--looking for ways to augment his income, having been forced to retire early. His pittance of a pension, you see, is hardly enough to maintain the country house in Vervion that Pinaud has just bought with wife Gabrielle's inheritance. And, on top of these woes, there's the bludgeoned body of a young girl--which Pinaud discovers on his very first sally into the woodshed. She's a total stranger, of course: a traveling saleswoman in cleaning supplies, wildly promiscuous and three months pregnant. But supercilious Inspector Javel makes it clear that Pinaud is a suspect (!)--along with the local jeweler, the local doctor, the local garage-owner (who's trying to resurrect Pinaud's overworked car), and a retired general. So our hero embarks on his own investigation, along with attempts to sell gold rings for the talented jeweler. And after much drinking of local brew and a few attempts on Pinaud's life, he has another detection triumph . . . and perhaps a burgeoning sales career too. With more comedy than usual in Audemars--leisurely, well-padded, and mildly enjoyable.