cover image Havana Highwire

Havana Highwire

John Keyse-Walker. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5073-7

Set in 1957, this winning series launch from Keyse-Walker (the Teddy Creque mysteries) introduces Henry Gore, an unlikely sleuth, whose college degree in English history landed him in “a kind of Air Force version of the FBI,” rather than on the battlefield during the Korean War. His training in counterespionage proves invaluable when he moves to Havana, Cuba, after his military discharge. Gore partners with local Ramón Mercado to launch a PI business, but clients are hard to come by. He runs afoul of a powerful Mafioso connected to the regime of Fulgencio Batista, who intervenes when Gore tries to get a compromising photo of a cheating husband for a suspicious wife. But Gore’s prospects rebound when he gets an offer too good to refuse from Senator Guillermo Bauza, the “Cuban government’s liaison to the Syndicate.” Bauza hires Gore to help thwart rebels seeking to topple Batista’s regime by posing as a gunrunner, concerned that official law-enforcement is too corrupt to be trusted. The assignment proves even more hazardous and complicated than Gore expected. Keyse-Walker captures the feel and power dynamics of pre-Castro Cuba. Readers will eagerly await the sequel. (July)