cover image A Shortcut to Paradise

A Shortcut to Paradise

Teresa Solana, trans. from the Catalan by Peter Bush, Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade

The murder of popular novelist Marina Dolç on the very evening she receives the coveted Golden Apple Fiction Prize in Barcelona sets the stage for Solana's outstanding second mystery featuring unlicensed (and untrained) nonidentical twin detectives, Borja Masdéu and Eduard Martínez (after 2008's A Not So Perfect Crime). The arrest of Dolç's bitter rival, Amadeu Cabestany, quickly follows. Cabestany's literary agent hires Masdéu and Martínez to either prove Cabestany innocent or find the real killer. Solana brilliantly skewers the authors, agents, and critics who compose most of the suspects as well as the literary prizes they fight over. The odd but innocent Cabestany finds unexpected notoriety in prison while the detectives try various ploys, including a gathering of suspects à la Agatha Christie. A delightfully droll double-barreled denouement provides a perfect ending to this romp, which should earn its author consideration for the kind of award she so cleverly lampoons. (Mar.)