Wow, this is the first time anyone has posted a review in the comments section of my blog! Jim Harris of BooksforLess writes:
“Longtime lawyer, first time mystery author, Peggy Blair introduces Havana police Inspector Ricardo Ramirez in THE BEGGAR’S OPERA (ISBN 978-0143186427, trade paperback, $16.00). The story is set in Havana, Cuba between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 2007.
“Ramirez heads the Major Crimes Unit in a beautiful but crumbling tropical city. He is afraid he that he is dying of dementia because his beloved Grandmother died from that disease and he thinks he has the early symptoms. Ghosts of murder victims, mostly benevolent, who disappear when their cases are solved, haunt him. He assisted by Dr. Hector Apiro, medical examiner and pathologist, who was formerly a top-notch plastic surgeon. Another associate and close friend is Detective Rodriguez Sanchez. Together they are asked to solve the murder and rape of an 8-year-old boy. In Cuba that crime carries an automatic death sentence if convicted.
“The only suspect is Canadian police Detective Mike Ellis who with his wife is on vacation in Havana. Ellis’ partner had recently been killed in a confrontation with a man with a knife. He died in Mike’s arms after Mike had killed the knife-wielder. Ellis’ wife had also recently miscarried their first child. Their marriage was on shaky grounds and Ellis thought this trip to Havana would help start a renewal of their marriage but after an argument, she leaves Havana ahead of schedule. After Ellis is arrested due to overwhelming evidence, the authorities have 72 hours to charge him or release him. Enter Celia Jones a police department lawyer from Ottawa sent by Ellis’ boss to see if she can extricate Mike from this nightmare.
“In the last 50 or so pages, bombshell revelation after bombshell revelation, leaves the reader breathless and surprised. I can’t wait to see more from this talented newcomer.
“Go! Buy! Read!”