cover image Bloody Waters

Bloody Waters

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera. Putnam Publishing Group, $21.95 (274pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14157-7

Although Garcia-Aguilera, like her sleuth, Guadalupe (""Lupe"") Solano, has worked as a Miami PI, her first effort has more melodrama than mystery. Lucia and Jose Moreno were happy when their high-society lawyer arranged a no-questions-asked adoption; but now that their daughter's life depends on a bone-marrow transplant from her birth mother, he's no help. So they've come to Lupe, a Mercedes-driving, Beretta-toting daughter of Miami's Cuban American elite, who taps a wide network of friends and lovers in her effort to find the child's biological mother. She succeeds, but at a price. Not long after Lupe realizes that she's being tailed, a man is killed. Then luck delivers Barbara Perez, a link in the illegal-adoption chain, and Lupe must overcome the woman's hostility and persuade her to undertake a dangerous journey. Lupe and her eccentric family (a bodybuilding cousin; a dad who keeps a boat provisioned for the day when Castro falls; a sister who's a nun) have a charm that bodes well for future outings. But this caper suffers from the pivotal role of circumstance. TV rights optioned to De Passe Productions. (Feb.)