cover image Havana Heat

Havana Heat

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera. William Morrow & Company, $24 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-380-97780-2

Stylish Cuban-American private eye Lupe Solano returns for her fifth exotic and suspenseful outing, after last year's A Miracle in Paradise. Attending a niece's wedding along with her current flame, attorney Alvaro Mendoza, Lupe is approached by Lucia Miranda, a member of the groom's high-powered and socially prominent family. Lucia has a dangerous task she hopes Lupe will undertake. Centuries ago, Christopher Columbus entrusted a medieval tapestry, a gift from Spain's Queen Isabella, into the safekeeping of his friend and shipmate, Rogelio Miranda, Lucia's ancestor. This prize is none other than the missing eighth tapestry of the famous Hunt of the Unicorn series hanging in the Cloisters in New York City. Lucia wants Lupe to retrieve the tapestry from its hiding place, deep beneath the Miranda family home in Havana, and bring it to Miami so that the dying clan matriarch can view it one last time. Intersecting this case is that of Angel Estrada, an art dealer with questionable ethics, who wants Lupe's help in smuggling art out of Cuba. Estrada's murder puts Lupe on the trail of a dangerous killer. Her quest for the tapestry takes her to Cuba, but not until she returns to Miami does she uncover the complete truth of both cases. Lupe Solano is an enjoyably hedonistic sleuth, and Garc a-Agu lera's chatty, congenial style will beguile readers for several pleasing hours and leave them looking forward to Lupe's next foray into Miami vice. (Oct.)