Banner week! First, The Beggar’s Opera was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Then I got to interview Giller Prize winning author, Will Ferguson, for my new TV show, and now this – a great review in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix! The highlights are below; you can read the entire review here.
“The much anticipated return of Peggy Blair’s Cuban police inspector Ricardo Ramirez in The Poisoned Pawn starts with a bang. Hillary Ellis, who in the first book angrily left her husband Michael, an Ottawa policeman, in Cuba and flew home, becomes ill in flight and dies soon after reaching Canada.
“In Havana, meanwhile, Ramirez is about to leave for Ottawa to quietly take back to Cuba a priest whose laptop contains child pornography featuring Cuban youngsters. He has to set aside the case of an older woman found with a knife in her heart in Havana’s Blind Alley, a centre for ‘drumming and dancing, trances and possession.’
“Blair’s complex mysteries have a strong social conscience aspect … The plots thicken, and some reach into high places in Havana and the Vatican, others into the usual greed. Ramirez is an honest cop in an unbelievably cold, wealthy and foreign country, but he finds some equally honest cops in Ottawa. Clearly Blair plans to continue this Cuba-Canada connection, which adds richness to her stories.”
To top it off a great week, Kate Eileen Shannon, a Florida author (and fellow realtor, as it turns out) has just written this about TBO:
“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.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 ♥♥♥♥♥ + + + ”
Great to hear. (I wonder if Kate knows I’m also a realtor?)