cover image Almost Murder: An Inspector Alvarez Novel

Almost Murder: An Inspector Alvarez Novel

Roderic Jeffries / Author St. Martin's Press $12.95 (192p) ISB

Fans of Inspector Alvarez (Layers of Deceit, etc.) will rejoice that their commonsensical, brandy-nipping, rather indolent and put-upon hero is back. Two Englishmen, one an M.P., are blown up in a yacht explosion off Mallorca. Officials in Madrid (""on the Peninsula'') think terrorists are to blame, which would get the Spanish police off the hook. A bossy, wonderfully persnickety Comisario is sent to Mallorca where he makes Alvarez's life miserable. Frustrated by bureaucratic closed minds, Alvarez's natural curiosity leads him to conclude that the victims had enemies closer to home. When a survivor of the explosion is killed in a mysterious car crash, the Comisario grudgingly gives up his terrorist theory. Alvarez solves the crime very cleverly and readers will relish the twists that lead to justice. They'll also appreciate the detailed characterization, local color, humor and Alvarez's temptation to ``lose his soul'' to a foreign siren. (May 19)