TOO CLEVER BY HALF by Roderic Jeffries


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Yet another death of a British expatriate to worry Mallorca's intuitive, good-natured bachelor Inspector Enrique Alvarez (Unseemly Ends, etc.). This time it's ailing, reclusive art-expert Justin Burnett, an obvious suicide to all but his strong-minded sister Phillipa, an elderly spinster also resident on the island. She's convinced her brother was murdered--and Alvarez, after studying the evidence, comes to share her view. Then the death of another Britisher--rich, womanizing Gerald Heal, in a seemingly accidental car crash--causes Alvarez to look further at the tenuous connection between the dead men. Heal's daughter Alma, the loutish painter she lives with, and Heal's brittle, attractive ex-wife, who lives off-island but was a recent visitor--all benefit by his death. So, in a more obscure way, does smarmy art-dealer Gerasimos Simitis. Finally, though, Alvarez, torn by his unspoken infatuation with Alma and feelings of sympathy for Phillipa, will put together the pieces of a complex, many. layered puzzle--and produce a scenario for justice that puts humanity above the letter of the law. Slow to get moving, like its affable hero, but picks up speed and intrigue as it goes along, enhanced as always by the author's insight into the now and then of island life. Middling Jeffries that fans will welcome.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's