Three murder mysteries for the price of two

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Three exotic murder mysteries for the price of two.

Since his first appearance the strange, aloof Spanish Chief Inspector Miguel Rojas has built up a small but enthusiastic and gradually growing following. Although seemingly rooted in the ancient, dramatic, romantic Spain he loves Rojas, based in the National Guard offices in modern Barcelona excels at mysteries where international politics or crime is active. It may be a charismatic but corrupt French politician who has sinister links with the Ukrainian expats in Catalonia. It may be a decent man obsessed by losing the one woman he can love getting involved with ruthless contract killers from central Europe. It may be the group of brilliant American scientists working in Spain but dogged by a killer whose roots seem to be in medieval Iceland. The locations are exotic from the beautiful Spanish town of Ronda divided by the magnificent gorge in which, all too often, bodies are found to the opulent Palacio Hotel in Estoril Portugal, famous during the Second World War for its casino where spies and counter-spies rubbed shoulders with wealth and glamour. It could be the beautiful, sun-drenched Mediterranean coast at Altea or further south in Malaga where the gypsies dance in the Sacromonte mountains or foreign criminals try to hide. Rojas can be found in the opulent office of the Colombian ambassador in Madrid or in the dark streets of the Gothic quarter of Barcelona after midnight. He may be talking to priests or German businessmen or drinking coffee in back-street all night bars with members of the Spanish underworld. He may even be found drinking Rioja with Carmencita, the former flamenco dancer in her tapas house in Ronda.

Perhaps in all of them the greatest mystery is Rojas himself. In each book we find out a little more about his strange personality. He is not known ever to have had an intimate relationship with any other human, male or female, old or young, black, white or yellow. Yet he must have done. How else could he understand the heartbreak of the priest who has betrayed his vows and become suicidal or the bitterness of a woman who cannot forgive or an aging German who regrets the loss of the Greek woman he had loved so much but had not treated well. How can Rojas understand them better than they do themselves? Each novel gives a few more hints of how.

So, this omnibus edition released in time for Xmas contains three of the most intriguing cases. The paperback edition at £13.50 in the UK, $18.00 in the USA and 15.14 euros means three of the novels are available for less than the price of two. It is also available as an e-book for £7.00 in the UK, $9.34 in the USA and 7.89 euros in Europe.

The preparation of the cover for this was an adventure in itself, fortunately without the need for a Rojas enquiry. My original drawing of the image of Rojas and a flamenco dancer has been wonderfully upgraded and tidied up by IT and graphics wizards who work magic which is quite beyond me. I am very grateful to Abi Graham,Neil Pollock and Kris Krug for the help they have freely and readily given.

So, I am hopeful that the omnibus edition of Volume One of the Rojas Casebook will make an interesting additional present without straining anyone`s pocket too much. I am hopeful that reading about baffling and sinister intrigue in the Iberian sunshine will warm a few winter evenings. 




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