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Barcelona detective Pepe Carvalho's radical past catches up with him when a powerful businessman-a patron of artists and activists-is found dead after going missing for a year. In search of the spirit of Paul Gauguin, Stuart Pedrell-eccentric Barcelona businessman, construction magnate, dreamer, and patron of poets and painters-disappeared not long after announcing plans to travel to the South Pacific. A year later he is found stabbed to death at a construction site in Barcelona. Gourmand gumshoe Pepe Carvalho is hired by Pedrell's wife to find out what happened. Carvalho, a jaded former communist, must travel through circles of the old anti-Franco left wing on the trail of the killer. But with little appetite for politics, Carvalho also leads us on a tour through literature, cuisine, and the criminal underbelly of Barcelona in a typically brilliant twist on the genre by a Spanish master.