cover image An Enigmatic Disappearance

An Enigmatic Disappearance

Roderic Jeffries / Author Minotaur Books $21.95 (176p) ISBN 97

Despite a lackluster title, Jeffries's 21st installment in his series featuring Mallorca-based policeman Enrique Alvarez provides the smooth entertainment readers have come to anticipate and relish. The expatriate community resident on Mallorca can't seem to keep itself out of trouble. This never fails to puzzle Alvarez, who marvels at the antics of these foreigners, chiefly English. When Sabrina Ogden, the beautiful, much younger wife of fussy, elderly Bevis Ogden, disappears, Alvarez suspects it is simply the case of a woman bored by her husband's impotence. Alvarez noses around, trying to discern who the other man might be. Is it Rino Ruffolo, handsome Italian boy toy of Ada Heron, English barmaid- turned-millionairess? Or could it be tart-tongued Clive Keane, whose colorless wife thinks him immune to adultery? When Alvarez discovers that Bevis Ogden collected a hefty insurance premium when a previous wife disappeared and later turned up murdered, the cop realizes he could be investigating something more serious than the whereabouts of an errant wife. Jeffries's wit is as quietly mordant as ever, taking the expatriates to task for their despoiliation of the beauties of Mallorca and pointing up the absurdities of the English abroad, who insist on treating all non-English people as ""foreigners."" This is another small gem in a series that never fails to amuse. (Sept.)