Suddenly there’s one one fewer rich ex-pat enjoying the good life on Majorca.
Maurice Rook and his trophy wife Gloria, far from top-drawer back in England, seemed to have it all in their adopted home of Port Llueso: a beautiful villa overlooking the sea, servants galore, a fancy yacht, every bauble money could buy. But when a bad property development deal ends all that, they concoct a scheme to have Maurice disappear at sea and his grieving widow collect the million pounds of insurance money, then rejoin him in the Bahamas. Majorcan Inspector Enrique Alvarez and an English insurance claims man team up to investigate, don’t fall for the scheme, and deny payment. Then, months later, to the widow’s unease, Maurice’s body washes ashore, and Alvarez must decide whether his demise was suicide or murder. The suspects include a cuckolded husband, a duped investor, and the local fisherman whose boat he rammed. Sorting it all out between siestas and balloon glasses of cognac, Alvarez becomes enamored of Maurice’s niece Gail, who may have had reasons of her own for wanting her uncle dead. The culprit will surprise no one, but the bountiful scenery and cognac will keep anyone from caring.
Jeffries (An Intriguing Murder, 2003, etc.) turns an equally droll eye on resident Brits trampling the ever-less-beautiful island life and the sarcastic browbeating Alvarez gets from his sister and his boss.