Posadas pushes the high-concept whodunit pastiche of Little Indiscretions (2003) a step further into high comedy, without a single laugh.
Now that Rafael Molinet’s mother has died, he’s both bankrupt and friendless. With nothing left to live for, he decides after a last chat with his niece Fernanda to take an overdose of pills—not in his threadbare London apartment, but as the climax of a two-week vacation at L’Hirondelle d’Or, a luxurious desert spa 65 miles from Fez. While he’s waiting to run up one last bill he won’t be paying, he cheerlessly amuses himself by observing his fellow guests: the distinguished Marquis de Cuevas, recently widowed Mercedes Algorta, radio personality Antonio Sánchez López, his black-sheep blue-blood companion Ana Fernández de Bugambilla, screenwriter Santiago Arce and long-time lovers Bernardo and Bea, who imagine nobody knows about their very public affair. Fortified by a steady diet of newsy faxes from Fernanda to Molinet, as well as book proposals from junkyard dog publisher Juan Pedro Bonilla to the rest of the cast, the principals hunker down to two-dozen rounds of Pimms, very dry martinis and monumentally trivial gossip. But a funny thing happens on the way to Molinet’s funeral. A chance remark by another guest—“Did SHE let him die?”—causes him to link the recent death of Mercedes’ husband Jaime Valdés, who choked to death on an almond, with the demise long ago of his father, Bertie Molinet, who fell down a long flight of stairs under the eyes of three ill-assorted witnesses. It isn’t long (though it sure seems long) before Molinet is contemplating a third mysterious death that still isn’t his.
The model is clearly Agatha Christie, yet the excruciatingly woolly dialogue reads more like George V. Higgins inexplicably passing the time at a Moroccan spa.