Promising first novel about an Englishwoman living in Brussels by an Englishwoman living in Brussels. Matilda Haycastle, beautiful and socially eclectic, works as an office temp and takes love and friendship where she will. After a co-worker tells her that a vacationing British acquaintance, Connie Trevor, has not returned to claim her apartment or cat, Matilda--by degrees--not only inherits the cat but the case of the missing spinster/secretary/married man's mistress. Her taste for detection awakens with dramatic speed as she calls on friends--an opera-going social lion and a diplomat's wife--for sleuthing entrÇes. When Connie Trevor's apartment is burgled, the police finally appear in the person of Vanderauwera, a blue-eyed, short-tempered Inspecteur Principal calibrated for maximum sexual interest. Covering all venues from amateur theatricals to alternative-lifestyle dives, Matilda gets both her murderer and her man. A brisk tale short on subtlety and long on wish-fulfillment. Still, it provides a fascinatingly layered view of expatriate life in a great foreign capital. And Matilda's love affair with her surly policeman generates a chemical burn quite rare in these politically correct times.