- In beautiful, crumbling Old Havana, Canadian detective Mike Ellis hopes the sun and sand will help save his troubled marriage. He doesn’t yet know that it’s dead in the water—much like the little Cuban boy last seen begging the Canadian couple for a few pesos on the world famous Malecon. For Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Major Crimes Unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police, finding his prime suspect isn’t a problem—Cuban law is. He has only seventy-two hours to secure an indictment and prevent a vicious killer from leaving the island. But Ramirez also has his own troubles to worry about. He’s dying of the same dementia that killed his grandmother, an incurable disease that makes him see the ghosts of victims of unsolved murders. As he races against time, the dead haunt his every step
The Beggar’s Opera is one of the best books I’ve read in a while that isn’t a cozy. I have been sticking with a pretty steady diet of cozies of late because any time I’ve picked up anything any heavier or another genre than mystery altogether, I have been disappointed. I call it the J. K. Rowling curse. Since her venture out of the world of Harry Potter, a book that bored me in the first chapter, I seem to pick up one book after another that bores me. Even in the broader mystery genre. So I have stuck to cozies. I am busy all day long. I don’t watch much TV at all. So reading is my entertainment and I want to just relax and have fun. And nine times out of ten, a cozy gives me that. But The Beggar’s Opera was highly recommended by someone whose taste in reading is close to mine. Plus, there is Cuba.
Cuba is on my bucket list. Theoretically, I can go there because I am an Irish citizen. And I don’t have any anti-Cuba or anti-Castro feelings. But since I am now in US, I would have to travel to Canada first and it just gets too expensive. I’ve been close, on a boat. Actually refueled there when I lived in FL. But never went on shore. So it is still on my bucket list. So when I heard there was a mystery, written by a Canadian, set in Cuba, that told both the good and the bad without the anti-Cuba rhetoric you get in the states, I had to read it.
Outstanding story. A Canadian tourist, Mike Ellis, who happens to be a cop, is set up for the rape and murder of a young boy. Inspector Ricardo Ramirez and Detective Rodriguez Sanchez are the primary representatives of the Cuban police and the police and the court system are portrayed in a fair and balanced way. Ramirez believes he is suffering from the same early dementia, causing hallucinations, that killed his grandmother. The first half of the story goes along like your average police procedural. But then there is one twist after another. Everybody has a secret, a history that will surprise. You are still getting unexpected twists right up until the last page, long after the original crime is solved. Peggy Blair is officially my favorite author of 2013, already, I seriously doubt anyone will come along to change that. You must read The Beggar’s Opera, it is ♥♥♥♥♥ + + +