cover image Dead Clever: An Inspector Alvarez Novel

Dead Clever: An Inspector Alvarez Novel

Roderic Jeffries / Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (182p) ISB

Inspector Enrique Alvarez of the Mallorcan police must solve a case of insurance fraud and possible murder in his eighth appearance (following Relatively Dangerous ). While the insurance scam involves an Englishman, Timothy Green, who may or may not have been killed when the plane he was piloting crashed off Mallorca, the first of the possible murders is the death of Alvarez's distant cousin, Carlos Navarro, when a bomb goes off on the fishing boat he and his brother, Miguel, were also using for smuggling. As Alvarez helps the English insurance investigator, he is hounded by Dolores, the cousin with whom he lives, to come to the aid of Miguel. The insurance case leads to a wealthy British expatriate living on the island who owns a large, fast boat, and Alvarez's two concerns begin to converge, with an appropriate vengeance satisfying justice. Along the way, Jeffries neatly skewers the Spanish bureaucracy and English and Mallorcan folkways while maintaining a deep sympathy for the latter two. Inspector Alvarez is one of the great additions to the realm of human and humane policemen. (June)