cover image Murdered by Nature

Murdered by Nature

Roderic Jeffries. Severn, $28.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8147-2

Jeffries, who’s been turning out tart, snappy mysteries set in Majorca since 1974, shows no sign of losing steam in the 36th entry in his Inspector Alvarez series (after 2011’s Murder, Majorcan Style). When the body of a man, eventually identified as English tourist Colin Kerr, surfaces in the bay amid indications that he didn’t drown, Alvarez suspects drug trafficking has something to do with Kerr’s demise. Alvarez also wonders whether Kerr’s death is somehow related to that of an affluent Englishman, Charles Ashton, who recently perished unexpectedly after surviving the car crash that killed his wife. Alvarez’s cantankerous boss, Superior Chief Salas, who’s supposed to be on vacation, phones to criticize the inspector’s every investigative move. While Alvarez lacks the charisma of other Mediterranean detectives such as Andrea Camilleri’s Salvo Montalbano, he’s affable enough to keep readers solidly in his corner. (July)