Wow, this is a great review in the UK’s BookBag of Midnight in Havana. The renamed novel (you’ll know it in Canada and the US as The Beggar’s Opera) will be released in July by Polygon, the publisher of Alexander McCall Smith’s wonderful books. Here are some highlights– you can read the entire review here:
Midnight in Havana is the debut novel by Peggy Blair and presents us with a compelling mystery set within an exciting setting with a legal system that really adds to the suspense of the story.
Peggy Blair’s debut has already been released in North America under the title of The Beggars Opera with Midnight in Havana being the title for the UK release of the book. It garnered great acclaim on its release across the pond and it is easy to see why. It’s the first Inspector Ramirez mystery and it is a very promising introduction to the character and his world. It starts with great pace with the fact that under Cuban law Inspector Ramirez has just seventy-two hours to submit his case against Detective Ellis to keep a child killer off the streets. The opening chapters just fly by; I was totally engrossed in the characters and the mystery itself – and Havana.
The plot is great with a vicious crime to be solved that’s not all it seems. The introduction of a Canadian lawyer to the story turns most of what has happened on its head and the mystery becomes even more complex and interesting. There are countless twists and turns and although sometimes slightly predictable they all work and towards the end of the book I was left trusting very little of what I believed was true, for there might always be another twist.
Midnight in Havana had me hooked from very early on and wouldn’t let go until I reached the end and even then I just wanted more. There’s a new inspector in crime fiction and although he’s not yet at the Rebus level this book shows that he has a lot to offer. The second Inspector Ramirez mystery has already been released in Canada so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before I can enjoy another Cuban thrill ride. I would very highly recommend this book and I will be making family and friends read it as soon as possible.