Inspector Alvarez is rudely awakened from his afternoon siesta by a phone call reporting the death of one Senor Picare. On arrival at the Picare villa, he finds the grieving widow has retired to bed, and the housekeeper, Rosalía, is dealing with the police and comforting the young maid, Marta, who is devastated by the death of her employer.
An Englishwoman living in France falls through a balcony railing. Or was she pushed? An Englishman whose rented car showed a Spanish registration visited her in France on the day she died. Days later, an Englishman living in Spain dies from a heroin overdose - although he wasn’t an addict.
Inspector Alvarez is in a good mood, for once. The sun is shining, he has enjoyed an uniterrupted morning nap at his desk, his irasciable boss - Superios Chief Salas - is on holiday, and the local Mallorquin government’s proposal to increase tax on alcohol has been soundly defeated. But optimism, he soon has cause to reflect, is the road to disaster. In short order, he provokes the ire of Salas’ secretary and then of Salas himself - whose holiday does not seem to exclude phoning Alvarez to complain about his work. In no time at all, Alxvarez is mired down by a seemingly impossible task....
Inspector Alvarez is just considering whether he can surreptitiously leave work early when a colleague calls to tell him that an Englishman has been found dead in his car in his garage, the engine on and the tank empty. Alvarez, chafing over the prospect of an evening on the job, proceeds to the scene, but his hopes of a quick and easy case are dashed – for while the man was found in a car full of fumes, it appears the cause of death was not carbon-monoxide poisoning….
When the body of retired Bolivian diplomat Guido Zavala is found floating in his pool, Inspector Alvarez finds that the evidence might point to foul play. As he slowly uncovers Zavala's past, he learns there are those who have good cause to have disliked him: Jerome Robertson, whose wife has been having an affair with him; Santiago Pons, whose heavy gambling losses have placed him at the other's mercy; Bailey, who suffered in the past because of him.
The Mallorcan police receive an anonymous call to say that a body has been found at the foot of a steep wall of rock. Hoping it is an accident, Alvarez makes cursory enquiries only to find that the medical evidence reveals this could be a murder. Alvarez uncovers several possible motives seeming to draw in just about every English person on the Island – but he refuses to countenance that Mary, the dead man’s niece, to whom he becoming uncomfortably close, could be guilty.
When Majorcan Inspector Enrique Alvarez is called upon to investigate the death of a woman found shot dead in her own home, all the evidence seems to point to her husband's guilt. Heron is far from rich, but his wife, Belinda, was. The case seems cut and dried. Except that Alvarez just doesn't believe Heron is guilty.
With a penchant for wine and women, Tyler is not the kind of man to let the law stand in his way. Rich, arrogant and spoiled, when his love of wine and cognac leads to the death of a young couple walking along a country lane, he'll do anything to avoid the consequences - including driving his car to his property in Mallorca so the English police can't examine it.
Art dealer Oliver Cooper has a cushy life in Mallorca - until Ernest White darkens his door. He's demanding repayment on behalf of his Mafia boss - a large sum that Cooper swindled by selling fakes. White is not a patient man, pay up - or else... But Cooper does not pay up. When he disappears, Inspector Alvarez is called in to investigate. But Cooper turns up at his own home - dead. This isn't suicide or accident, and there is no shortage of suspects.
Majorcan Inspector Enrique Alvarez is called out to investigate the seemingly routine accidental death of Englishman Jasper Vickers, but all is not as straightforward as it seems. The assumption that Vickers fell from his balustrade in a drunken stupor does not explain the strips of missing hair on his wrists, the two horizontal cuts on his neck or the swelling of his lips.
When Walter Miller fell into the swimming pool, his face a contorted mask, Ines was convinced that she had poisoned him with a love potion. However, Dr Llabares recognised that Mr Miller was suffering from datura poisoning, and was able to treat him in time to save his life. Inspector Alvarez is not surprised when Ines subsequently denies poisoning her lover; but he was not expecting Miller to agree that there was no possibility that she could have done so.