Lupe Solano is a sexy, scrappy Miami PI whose social status as a daughter of the Cuban-exile aristocracy opens a lot of doors in South Florida. What's behind those doors in Havana Heat include family secrets, tangled political alliances, and the rumored (but undiscovered) final tapestry in the Unicorn series, the Flemish masterpieces bought from a French aristocrat by John D. Rockefeller and given by him to New York's Cloisters Museum, where they draw thousands of admirers annually.
A lavish wedding uniting two members of Cuban-American royalty sets the scene for the secret assignment pressed on Lupe by Lucia Miranda, whose ancestor sailed with Christopher Columbus, got off the boat in Cuba after the last voyage, and supposedly kept his captain's gift from Queen Isabella--the eighth Unicorn tapestry. Lucia wants Lupe to retrieve the tapestry from its hiding place in Havana and smuggle it back to Miami. Since Lupe's already made a specialty of reuniting the stolen or confiscated work of Cuban artists with the rightful owners, and the Unicorn tapestries have a special place in her heart, she agrees to the proposition--much to the dismay of her boyfriend, a sexy Cuban activist lawyer. But there's a backup boy toy waiting in the wings who offers Lupe another job that dovetails neatly with the Unicorn hunt and points her to Havana in her father's luxurious Hatteras yacht.
There's enough suspense here to fuel an interesting plot, along with the allure of a closed society whose rituals and mores are exotic and largely unknown to many readers, and a heroine whose combination of sass, smarts and style make her consistently fun to hang out with. You could do a lot worse than curl up with Lupe until Sue Grafton pens another in her alphabet series. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Stylish Cuban-American private eye Lupe Solano returns for her fifth exotic and suspenseful outing, after last year's A Miracle in Paradise. Attending a niece's wedding along with her current flame, attorney Alvaro Mendoza, Lupe is approached by Lucia Miranda, a member of the groom's high-powered and socially prominent family. Lucia has a dangerous task she hopes Lupe will undertake. Centuries ago, Christopher Columbus entrusted a medieval tapestry, a gift from Spain's Queen Isabella, into the safekeeping of his friend and shipmate, Rogelio Miranda, Lucia's ancestor. This prize is none other than the missing eighth tapestry of the famous Hunt of the Unicorn series hanging in the Cloisters in New York City. Lucia wants Lupe to retrieve the tapestry from its hiding place, deep beneath the Miranda family home in Havana, and bring it to Miami so that the dying clan matriarch can view it one last time. Intersecting this case is that of Angel Estrada, an art dealer with questionable ethics, who wants Lupe's help in smuggling art out of Cuba. Estrada's murder puts Lupe on the trail of a dangerous killer. Her quest for the tapestry takes her to Cuba, but not until she returns to Miami does she uncover the complete truth of both cases. Lupe Solano is an enjoyably hedonistic sleuth, and Garc!a-Agu!lera's chatty, congenial style will beguile readers for several pleasing hours and leave them looking forward to Lupe's next foray into Miami vice.
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