Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: A Question of Motive by Roderic Jeffries

Summary courtesy of Blackwell at http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk:

This is the new Inspector Alvarez mystery. The Mallorcan police receive an anonymous call to say a body has been found at the foot of a steep wall of rock. Hoping it is an accident rather than a crime, Alvarez makes cursory enquiries only to find that the medical evidence reveals this could be a murder case. Evidence of motive is the key to deciding whether the rich Englishman has died from suicide, accident or murder. Between a comforting drink and a quiet siesta, Alvarez uncovers several possible motives seeming to draw in just about every other English person on the Island - but one he refuses to countenance is that Mary, the dead man's niece, to whom he was becoming uncomfortably close, could have been guilty. Superior Chief Salas had no such qualms in naming her the prime suspect, however, on learning that Mary was to inherit a fortune from her uncle. And Salas' intolerance, indeed suspicion, of Alvarez and his methods is only too well known...

It is largely a matter of taste, but my reaction to this book is strong dislike.  Instead of finding the interchanges between Alvarez and Salas humorous, I found them distracting and annoying.  The story did not flow well.  However, I did find myself drawn to finish it.  That’s the best thing about a mystery, I suppose.  Despite that, I do not recommend spending time on this read.  It wasn’t awful, but there are surely a lot of better mystery novels.

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