"Thirty-One Bones" by Morgan Cry is a thoroughly enjoyable romp that draws you in and keeps you turning the page all the way to a nicely veiled and very satisfying conclusion.
Daniella Coulston works in a humdrum insurance job in Glasgow. When her estranged mother Effie drops dead on the floor of her bar in a small Spanish town in the middle of trying to con an investor out of a considerable sum of money, Daniella feels she has no choice but to travel to Spain for the funeral. She quickly discovers that Effie's life in Spain was a complex one and she finds herself having to deal with far more than she expected when she got on the plane.
First there's the very odd circle of ex-patriot friends of her mother's. Each has, in their own different way, failed in life, and each is looking to the large-scale property scam that was being led by Effie to ensure they can move on to better lives. Only it turns out that Effie had hidden the money before her death and was planning to use all of it to finance a better life herself, without them. The Ex-Patriots turn to Daniella to use her position to find the money, each seeking to persuade her in a different way: or simply promising to implicate her in the scam, or worse, if she doesn't come up with the money. She also finds she has to oversee the running of her mother's very peculiar bar in order to safeguard her hoped-for inheritance. And then there's the local gangster, who has his own reasons for wanting to get his hands on Effie's property.
The story is told partly from Daniella's point of view and partly in translated reports of interviews conducted by the Spanish police. What's particularly nice is seeing the way Daniella's character develops as she realises she needs to take control and work a way out of the mess she finds herself in. The book builds steadily but unpredictably towards its conclusion and as the going gets increasingly tough you find yourself really rooting for Daniella.