I love book bloggers — and this week I was lucky enough to have Hungry Ghosts reviewed by three of them –three!
Literary Treats had this to say about the third instalment in the Inspector Ramirez series (and more: you can read the entire review here)
Definitely did not disappoint. Having established her world building in the first two titles, Blair now seemed freed up to focus on the intricacies of her mysteries. The characters fit in more naturally with each other than before, and the dual mysteries investigated by Ramirez and Canadian First Nations detective Charlie Pike seemed more seamlessly integrated than before.
That being said, the strength of Blair’s mysteries has rarely been about the actual case so much as it is about the political commentary these cases brought forth, both about Cuba and Canada. I particularly love how Charlie Pike was invited on a case, literally as a token First Nations representative — his experience as a detective was less valuable to his colleagues in this case than his background. … Blair’s interest in and passion for First Nations issues in Canada comes through loud and clear, particularly in this story. Part of me wonders if she’ll ever do a spinoff story just on Charlie Pike, a full novel to explore the intricacies of Canadian First Nations politics.
Well, Jaclyn, I’m thinking about it. Quite a few reviewers have said that they thought Charlie should have a series of his own. Thanks for the great review!
Blair’s novels rarely disappoint….With brilliant three dimensional characters playing out their lives against the rich dramatic territory of Cuba, it’s almost impossible not to be transported straight onto the streets of Havana beside the likes of Ramirez.
Hungry Ghosts is quite simply excellent, and rivals The Beggar’s Opera as Blair’s best work. She has rapidly become one of my favourite Canadian authors, if not one of my favourite authors writing publishing fiction at all.
I also enjoyed the rich First Nations subplot featuring Charlie Pike. Peggy Blair, an Ottawa lawyer, now author of three books in this series is a real Canadian treasure.
Wow, I’m blushing — thanks!
And finally, Alejandro of our own Ottawa-based Apartment 613 blog wrote this about Hungry Ghosts in the section called Write On Ottawa:
Peggy Blair is one of my favourite authors from the National Capital Region.How much do I like her? Well, since launching the Write On Ottawa series in 2013, Apartment613 has published over 100 reviews of books and comics from local artists. If I were to create a “Top 5” list based on this group of reviews, I would certainly include Blair on my list.
After reading Hungry Ghosts, the third installment in her Insp. Ramirez detective series that is set in Cuba, I was reminded why I love her writing so much.
Fans of Blair will recognize the wonderful cast of characters that make up this great story. There is Ricardo Ramirez, the police inspector in charge of the Havana Major Crimes Unit, who can see and speak with the ghosts of dead people.
Charlie Pike, who was introduced in book two, returns…. Readers will be captivated by his first-rate police work, as well as the window that he offers into the daily lives of aboriginal people in Canada….
We are also reacquainted with the unforgettable Hector Apiro, possibly the most interesting character ever to have been invented by an Ottawa author. The brilliant Apiro is not only a widely regarded Cuban pathologist, he is also one of Cuba’s top plastic surgeons despite suffering from dwarfism. His small size, however, hides a brilliant mind and tender heart.
You can read Alejandro’s full review here. Thanks, Alejandro, I would have been happy to be in the top 100, much less the top 5!
I look forward to all your reviews of Umbrella Man, the fourth instalment, out next June!