DEATH OF A
Publisher: Soho Crime (August, 2020)
A Havana Mystery (Book 3 of 3)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Marlene Martinez has never taken a cruise before, but she wants her niece Sarita’s quinceanera to be something she’ll never forget. She succeeds in a big way, but not as she planned. Sarita is not very enthused, until she discovers her favorite actor, Cuban-born Carloalberto, is also onboard. He’s a C-level celebrity, but she and her peeps think he’s an A-plus.
Marlene is not enamored. Watching the man interact with his wife Emma, his screenwriter partner Helen, and a thug in a Hawaiian shirt, she senses all is not well in his world. When Marlene left Cuba to open a bakery in Miami, she hung up her uniform, put away her gun, and vowed to leave detecting behind her. When one of the trio is murdered, she breaks that vow to bring justice for the victim.
The ending is surprising, but it makes perfect sense when one considers Marlene’s life experiences. Ms. Dovalpage, author of the delightful novel DEATH COMES IN THROUGH THE KITCHEN, creates believable characters and gives the reader more insight into the Cuban culture. The plot is not complex, but it is engaging. Because of the brevity of the novella, there aren’t any of the delicious Cuban recipes that feature in her novel, but there are descriptions of the delectable cruise fare that almost make up for that. Recommended.
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