Set between Cubas twenty years apart, Havana native Teresa Dovalpage’s new mystery features an unusual detective—an ex-cop turned Santería priest and a familiar face from her acclaimed crime fiction debut, Death Comes in through the Kitchen.
Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Havana for the first time since fleeing Cuba by raft twenty years ago. He is traveling with his American wife, Sharon, hoping to catch up with Victor, his best friend from college—and, unbeknownst to Sharon, discover what has become of two of his ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.
Juan is surprised to discover that Victor has become Victoria, and runs a popular drag show at the local hot spot Caf. Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a Santería priest and former detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group’s lies and hunt down a killer.
Don’t let the authentic Cuban recipes fool you: This is no cozy mystery. Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution.
Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn’t there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.
With Yarmi’s murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn’t bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all—but did anyone?