The sun … the ocean … the farmhouse … the scammer… the police… the 3-legged dog?
George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-
owning friends while George’s heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that
they’re no longer living busy London lives, they’re beginning to realise they have very different ideas
Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That’s why it’s particularly embarrassing
that he didn’t realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a
broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.
Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons.
She’s finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.
The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular
apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.
Author Bio –
Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books
include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media
romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island
is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the
luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.
Too Good to be True
The sun is shining, the sea is sparkling and everything appears to be wonderful in
Mallorca. But when everything looks too good to be true, sometimes it is. Like the luxury
villa that doesn’t appear to exist, the relationship guru who has relationship problems,
and the retired couple with very different ideas of the perfect retirement dream. Private
investigator Salva is dealing with the first issue: tracking down the property scammer. It
won’t be the only case of deception he’ll uncover along the way.
Against his better judgment, Salva had visited another estate agent.
“Capdepera area,” the agent had said, barely looking at the picture of the villa, “it
belongs to a Mallorcan family. I don’t think they’d ever rent it.”
He’d waved vaguely at the map. Stupidly, Salva had got excited. Stupidly, he’d
wasted an hour in the car. He’d found a number of villas. None of them matched. Now
he was parked up in Capdepera town, the medieval castle looming in the distance,
reminding him he had a long drive home.
He refreshed his inbox for the millionth time and was surprised when a new email
Dear Eric, you’re in luck, the villa is available for those dates… Bingo. He carried
on reading. I would need a 50% deposit. That would be €1,050. I hope this isn’t a
problem. Unfortunately people’s word isn’t enough these days, and I’ve been stood up
on a number of occasions.
A few expletives rolled off Salva’s tongue. The audacity of the scammer was
infuriating. If his father hadn’t been her victim, he might have laughed at the outlandish
The next part of her long email outlined her work as a bona fide vet. He was just
getting to the part where she mentioned her three-legged rescue dog called Rocky
when his phone rang. It made him jump. For a split second he thought it was the
scammer and he scrabbled to think of what to say.
It turned out to be a different con artist entirely.
His stomach clenched with a mixture of hope and anger. He hated her, but he
loved her. He swallowed as he called her back. A desperate part of him wanted to
believe it had all been a terrible misunderstanding.
“Oh hi, Salva,” she answered. She sounded so casual.
“Hi,” he said, his voice coming out hoarse. “You called me.”
“Yep, I was just wondering, can you use supermarket coffee capsules for the
machine or does it have to be the same brand?”
He hung up. His hand, which had been holding the phone, dropped to his lap. He
felt a vein in his head pulsing. He took slow breaths, trying to regain control, feeling
His phone started to ring again. She was calling him back. He could imagine her
asking if they’d been cut off. Yes, completely. Perhaps for longer than he’d realised.
How could she be so flippant about their breakup? How could she be so insensitive?
He left it ringing and turned the engine on. Then he turned it back off again. He
couldn’t be sure, in his state, that he wouldn’t run someone over.
He looked over at the backseat and the cardboard package that had arrived that
morning. He’d ordered it a few minutes after talking to Robyn. Her honesty had made an impact. He reached for it now and tore open the box. The smooth, glossy cover felt
good between his hands. The bold white title stood out against the bright yellow
background. It transmitted a sense of confidence; a sense of triumph. Perhaps it was
fate that she had come to stay in the apartment block where he lived. A sceptical voice
snorted at that. Fate had also brought half his family along, which had forced him out of
He reclined in his seat, opened the book, and began to read.
I didn’t think something like this could happen to a person like me…
As he dived into Robyn’s humorous description of herself, Salva started to relax. It
felt like a really honest account of someone he’d like to get to know a lot better.