Well-drawn, amusing characters lift this witty novella from Dovalpage starring former Havana, Cuba, police detective Marlene Martínez, who had a supporting role in 2019’s Queen of Bones. Now the owner of La Bakería Cubana in Miami, Fla., Marlene has booked a seven-day Caribbean cruise as a quinceañera present for her niece, Sarita. Just before boarding, they discover that Carloalberto, an “almost-famous” Cuban model and actor, will also be on the ship.
Sarita makes it her mission to meet him, and Marlene soon realizes Mayan ruins, water parks, and swimming with dolphins don’t really measure up against a hunky C-list celebrity. Keeping an eye on Sarita means also keeping tabs on Carloalberto, and Marlene begins to notice some shady characters hanging around the increasingly nervous-looking young man. Dovalpage fairly presents the clues to the subsequent murder, with just enough red herrings to keep readers on their toes. Fans of lighter mysteries will have fun. (Aug.)
Available for pre order on Amazon