I always read Margaret Cannon’s reviews in the Globe and Mail — really pleased to see The Poisoned Pawn reviewed there today, and that she likes it!
If you, like me, somehow managed to miss Peggy Blair’s debut novel, The Beggar’s Opera, then you should read this second book and then run to get the first.
The Poisoned Pawn picks up Inspector Ricardo Ramirez of Havana, along with Canadian cop Mike Ellis, and transports the pair from Havana to Ottawa in search of a killer who also dabbles in pornography and religion. There’s a bad priest in Ottawa and some very dead women back in Havana, and the action heads from Parliament to the Vatican.
This is definitely the book to read in the month that the Pope retires. Blair, an Ottawa lawyer, has a good eye for those little details that establish place. She’s also good at character, although Ramirez is more interesting (possibly just his Latin flair) than Ellis. The plot is solid and has a couple of good twists. This is the second novel in a two-book deal for Penguin. Let’s hope there’s a third in the works.