Daily Archives: May 29, 2017

‘Spanish Mystery Stories for Beginners: El Detective Pepe Sevilla’ by Alex Diez


2016, 108 p.

Well, it may only be 108 very widely spaced pages, but it took me weeks to read! There were 60 chapters, each no more than two pages in length. And believe me, my Spanish is so rudimentary that one chapter a night was about all that I could manage.  Each chapter has vocabulary at the end of each chapter, with a special focus on colloquial expressions, of which there were many.

And the story? Well, surprisingly enough, there was one. Pepe Sevilla is a detective with his dog Kiko who is called to a luxurious mansion to investigate the death of a woman found at the bottom of a swimming pool. Her husband insists that it is suicide, but Pepe has his suspicions and gets to the bottom of the mystery.

It’s a pretty sparse text and I found that, in many ways despite (and because of) its brevity, it was more difficult to read than a newspaper article on BBCMundo because there’s no redundant text to help you guess the meaning of words.

I have the utmost admiration for anyone who ever becomes fluent in another language. Millions and millions and millions of people manage it so it must be possible, but it all seems a long way off yet.