This is the second book of the series that I have picked up but not the next in the order that the books were written. If you have not read any of the previous works, it does not matter as much (as I can attest) since this works well as a standalone as well.
Pel is a reasonably high ranked officer who is set in his ways and a competent detective. He is handed a case that seems convoluted, to say the least. The inclusion of the history of the Mexican-French relationship thrown into the mix does not help matters.
There are two significantly different parts(that are obviously linked) to the book: the mystery itself and Inspector Pel’s misery. The mystery was complicated, and the investigating officers (French and Mexican alike) worked really hard to see it to its conclusion. This, however, was not what held my attention. It was the disparaging comments that Pel thought and voiced about his fellow populace at different stages of the narrative. Some were funnier than others, but the overall presentation was fun, and I actually ended up reading it in a few sittings.
There’s an apt dialogue that may echo with others who have travelled through lands where languages that are not even remotely similar to something they are familiar with is used.”You simply decided, pronounced them, and stood by your decision, and if there were problems, you just shouted louder.” It definitely made me chuckle. It is not a perfectly engrossing book but has many high points, and I liked it better than the previous one that I read(review here). As reprints go, I am glad this one is available to a whole new audience.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.