Bitter Sugar: A Lupe Solano Mystery
Avon, 2002 (2001)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
his is the sixth in Carolina Garcia-Aguilera's Lupe Solano series. Lupe is the daughter of a Cuban exile, born in the United States but reared to consider Cuba as her homeland. Lupe runs a successful private investigation agency in Miami and her Papi wants her to check into an offer his life-long friend has received to buy his confiscated sugar mill in Cuba. Sounds phony to both Lupe and Papi.
s expected, one thing leads to another and Lupe reels from one encounter to another. I found a history of the sugar business in Cuba fascinating and not at all distracting from the story line. Papi's friend Tio Ramon is accused of murder, his nephew's body found in a bordello in the seamier side of Miami. Lupe's gay cousin Leonardo provides both comic relief and great skill in running her office.
he patience of the Cuban community is heartrending - waiting for Fidel Castro to either die or step down so they, the Cubans, can go back home after forty years in exile. Lupe's forays into the Cuban community are both interesting and exciting. And her family's home gives one the idea of how they lived on their native soil. Lupe is battered but unbowed as she plows her way through the maze of clues.
his is a fast-paced book written by a professional writer who has proved her skills five times before. Exciting to the very last page.
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