cover image Hot Schemes

Hot Schemes

Sherryl Woods. Dell Publishing Company, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-440-21486-1

With an eye for detail that captures the essence of Cuban Miami, Woods's (Hot Money) latest offers an engaging combination of mystery, romance, travelogue and politics. In their quest to solve the mystery of his Uncle Miguel's disappearance, police detective Michael O'Hara and his girlfriend, Molly DeWitt, are drawn deep into the underground world of Cuban exiles. Now in their fourth mystery, Michael and Molly are not only trying to find out what's happened to the missing uncle, but also what's happening with their relationship. Even Molly seems to suspect the plot, which invoves Cuban Terrorist organizations, is overambitious, saying that it's like ``something out of a political thriller.'' But bad political thrillers (unlike good mysteries) rely on coincidence and luck rather than sharp detecting skills for the denouementand unfortunately that is the case here. That said, the chemistry between Michael and Molly is provocative enough (``the man had amazing reserves of stamina and the touch of a sinner'') to make one wish that there was more time spent on their relationship. The novel's real strength is Woods's presentation of Cuban life in Miami, a thought-provoking glimpse into the life of Cuban exiles, their problems and the ever-present longing for a life that no longer exists. (Sept.)