"Fair Cuba sits enthroned in an ocean of light"--these were the lyrics to a popular song about the the island's enchantment taught in grade schools before Castro's time. (Yes, just like Puerto Rico, there's an ocean between us..) I don't remember reading a mystery that struck me with such a strong sense of place as does this novel about mostly impoverished Havana set in 2003. It makes me root for better relations with the US and Cuba--neither side has anything to lose and Cubans have much to gain. Yarmila, author of the blog "Yarmi Cooks Cuban" is found dead by her California journalist boyfriend. Matt has just come to Havana to propose despite having only visited her once before. The police, the Cuban secret service, and a Santeria diviner for hire all investigate The blog posts complete with recipes and her followers comments are a bittersweet highlight. You can do a lot with canned milk.
Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution, complete with authentic Cuban recipes
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 fianc e, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all--but did anyone?
About the Author
Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1966. She earned her BA in English literature and an MA in Spanish literature at the University of Havana, and her PhD in Latin American literature at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of twelve other works of fiction and three plays, and is the winner of the Rincón de la Victoria Award and a finalist for the Herralde Award. She lives in New Mexico.
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