Deadly Secrets And Those Books About Spain

Published on 6/8/2010 in Buying Process

Here at Eye on Spain we often get sent new books about Spain to read and review.  The problem is that we rarely come across any worthy of a mention.

The best example of this was a couple of years ago when a very large publishing house, beginning with “M”, sent us a book written by a British person who had bought a couple of old properties in an Andalucian village.  The book was about her nightmares doing up these houses.

I have respected the publishing house and the author by not naming them here but the book was just awful.   You ended up hating the author with the way she came across and the way in which she referred to people in such a derogatory fashion.

And this was published by one of the big publishing houses!

Suffice to say we didn’t publish our review which indirectly should have made them aware that even my 8 year old daughter could have written a better book.

A new life in Spain

Over the past few years there have been many of these types of books published, written by people who have moved to Spain and set up a new life here, with the most famous probably being “Driving Over Lemons” by Chris Stewart.

I haven’t read many of them but the most recent one I recommended was  Victoria Tweeds brilliant book “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools”.  It’s very entertaining and is a great read.

Deadly Secrets book coverDeadly Secrets

I was recently approached by another new author, Robert Tenison, who has published a book called “Deadly Secrets”. 

Deadly Secrets is a story of bribery, corruption, money laundering and murder in Andalucia.  The action takes place in the (fictional) coastal town of Los Cipreses as well as in Granada, Madrid, London, the Cayman Islands and Seville.

At first I didn’t know what I would make of this book so I met up with Robert to chat about it and he gave me a complimentary copy to read :-). 

I was very impressed by Robert, a very intelligent and articulate man.  He really had done some astonishing amount of research for his book and having lived in Marbella for several years, was well aware of some of the goings-on there during the “corruption years”.

Robert was born to Spanish parents in the UK, has an investment banking background, speaks fluent Spanish and understands the Spanish culture perfectly.

After our chat and a coffee at Terra Sana in Nueva Andalucia I walked away with my copy of Deadly Secrets in hand wondering what I would say to Robert if I thought his book was a load of crap.  I have been in this situation before.

But I shouldn’t have worried.  I couldn’t put this book down.   Everywhere I went the book came with me, reading as much as I could at every opportunity.  Bank queues, tax office queues, the toilet, everywhere!  OK, too much information there.

I loved it.  I loved the story, the characters, the intrigue, the plot, everything.

It reminded me a little of the movie “The Business” which is set in the 80s in Southern Spain, and the writing style is similar to perhaps John Grisham.  A great combination!

The Plot

To quote Robert’s own words:

“Andy Montalvo arrives in the Southern Spanish coastal resort of Los Cipreses following the unexpected death of his old friend Mike Cameron. As Andy looks into Mike's death, he finds himself drawn into an investigation involving greed, corruption and money laundering by the beautiful, but engimatic, Cristina Ibañez.

Together, Andy and Cristina uncover more details about Mike’s death, as well as the money laundering operation, but the body count rises before they finally establish the truth.”

It’s a great story and although it’s fictional you can’t help but see that there is some reality in the story.  It’s the sort of story which some people would probably rather wish was never written.

You can’t have my copy

Robert doesn’t know I’m writing this about his book today.  I haven’t told him what I think of the book yet, but I’m sure he’ll be pleased with what I’ve written.

Now, you can’t have my copy as I really would like to keep it, but you can get your own.  And if you want a great read which does reflect a different side to life in Spain, then here’s how to get it.

By the way, I’m not getting paid to write this or to recommend it (Robert only bought me a coffee!).  The link to buy it is not an affiliate link or anything.  I just like the book, the author and I’m sure you would like it too, which is why I am recommending it to you.

Please bear in mind that Robert has self-published this book so he suggests the best ways for you to buy it on his website.  You can find out how to buy it on his website at:

I hope you enjoy the book.  It is a great read and very different to any other Spain book I've ever read!

Anyone else got a book they’d like us to review?  Get in touch and if we like it we’ll tell everyone about it.  If we don’t we won’t!

Happy reading.

Written by: Justin Aldridge (EOS)

About the author:

Justin has been running Eye on Spain for over 5 years and recently with his partner Susan launched their popular moving to Spain video guide, Spain Uncut.

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Callaway X22 Review said:
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 @ 6:14 AM

That is bad.
You have removed the website field from which we could also get some benefit by getting a backlink for our site.
What a Idiot.

Suzi said:
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 7:34 AM

Hi Justin - please feel free to remove this if you see it as self-promotion, but I hope it might be useful for your readers. As someone who is constantly trying to find books that are set in particular places, I decided there was a need for a website that lists books by location. And having bought a property in Spain, then I obviously have a vested interest in books set here. I am constantly updating the list with new find and new books as they are published. So if anyone is searching out books in set in Spain - the list is at

Victoria Twead said:
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 @ 4:31 PM

Hello Moira,
Sooooooo pleased you enjoyed 'Chickens'! If you'd like to know what's happening in the village, (and to the poor long-suffering people I wrote about) I have a Village Updates monthly newsletter.
PS Tap, tap, paarp!

R McCarthy - Snowballs sounds interesting, I shall add that to my to-read list.


Moira said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 11:09 PM

Hi, I've just finished reading Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools for the second time, superb! Tap, tap paarp!

R McCarthy said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 8:35 PM

I read a good spanish lifestyle book called 'snowball oranges'. About a couple who move from scotland and buy a farm on Mallorca - very entertaining

Justin said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 7:57 PM

Hi Sarah

The book is only in English! There are just different options depending on where you live.


Madaline Wright said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 7:09 PM

Thanks Justin. I have met Robert too as we invited him to our Los Nebrales Book Club in Coin. He is a very nice guy and we all enjoyed the book very much. He was kind enough to come along to our book club and answer any questions and sit and chat to us about his research. A great evening. Madaline

Stuart Eade said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 6:02 PM

Having read the book I have to agree with the review, I couldn't put it down either. The plot totally engrosses you, a must read book.

sarah-mojacar said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 6:01 PM

Deadly Secrets sounds very interesting but the recommended buying option states it is only in Spanish. I know this is not the case, am I mis-reading this?.

Victoria Twead said:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 4:14 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words about 'Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools' and I shall definitely be reading Robert's book. Sounds excellent!


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