three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
19-Nov-Dec-2005
user_rating: 
0

A-LastResortThe death of elderly Spaniard Rafael Molinet’s mother leaves him friendless and penniless. He plots his demise—why kill himself in his shabby London home when he can go out in style at a luxurious Moroccan resort? Once at the world-class spa, he meets colorful, high-society characters, including Marquis de Cuevas and the recently widowed Mercedes Algorta, whose philandering husband choked to death on an almond. Suicide can wait. Molinet finds the rumors about Mercedes’s husband’s mysterious death all too fascinating—and all too familiar.
Random House. 320 pages. $23.95. ISBN: 0375508864

Orlando Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"Often compared to Agatha Christie, Posadas writes satirically about genteel murder among the rich and idle in this clever, funny book. . . , Written with a saucy, light hand, The Last Resort is remarkable not for its depth but for its exquisite superficiality." Cristina Elias

NY Times Book Review 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Posadas divides her narrative . . . among too many storytellers for my taste. But whenever Molinet is recounting the vicious cat-and-mouse games played at L’Hirondelle d’Or (‘a hotel that has a way of anesthetizing its guests’), the story drips with venomous wit." Marilyn Stasio

Miami Herald 2.5 of 5 Stars
"Rafael Molinet Rojas, an elderly Spaniard, compares a Madrid philanderer’s recent death by choking . . . to his own father’s death in a domestic fall more than half a century earlier. . . . Although The Last Resort has moments of sophisticated amusement, neither Molinet nor his crime-solving methods are strong enough to hold a reader’s interest for long." Dennis Drabelle

Critical Summary

The Spanish Planeta Prize-winning author of Little Indiscretions has returned with a highly comic satire on a high-class murder. Yes, even the rich have their vendettas. Critics compare The Last Resort to Agatha Christie’s whodunits, but Posadas adds in generous doses of commentary on etiquette, high society, and gossip (which, by the way, can kill). Don’t look for deep emotions or expert problem-solving skills here; instead, Spaniards masquerade as Germans, Moroccans finagle business opportunities, and everybody enjoys a good dry martini. Most important, as gossip buzzes and narrators switch stories, readers will learn "How to Wipe a Bloodstain from a Table Covering"—and other etiquette tips.