cover image Cuba Straits

Cuba Straits

Randy Wayne White. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-15814-8

Present-day Cuba is the setting of bestseller White’s timely 22nd Doc Ford thriller (after 2014’s Bone Deep). The former dictator of Masagua, “a tiny [fictional] country that exported bananas and revolution,” turns to Ford for help after he temporarily “loses” Figueroa Casanova, a Cuban baseball player he smuggled into the U.S. Casanova wandered off from his St. Petersburg, Fla., motel, carrying a briefcase full of letters written by Fidel Castro to the dictator’s mistress from 1953 to 1963. Ford’s unpredictable sidekick, Tomlinson, manages to locate Casanova and decides to return him and the Castro letters to Cuba. When Ford learns that a Russian spy, among others, is after the letters, he heads to Cuba to find Tomlinson. More than one distraction diverts Ford from his mission, including investigating the legend that three American ballplayers buried their new motorcycles in Cuba the day Castro took power. White smoothly combines history, action, and colorful characters into a savory concoction easily devoured in a single sitting. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Mar.)