Monday, June 13, 2022

~ BOOK BLAST DEATH UNDER THE PERSEIDS ~

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Death Under The Perseids (A Havana Mystery) by Teresa Dovalpage

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About Death Under the Perseids

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Mystery Hispanic American Literature & Fiction 
4th in Series Soho Crime (December 7, 2021) 
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641292164 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641292160 Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y8DT7GL
  
 

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There’s no such thing as a free cruise in Cuban American author Teresa Dovalpage's addictively clever new Havana mystery.

Cuban-born Mercedes Spivey and her American husband, Nolan, win a five-day cruise to Cuba. Although the circumstances surrounding the prize seem a little suspicious to Mercedes, Nolan’s current unemployment and their need to spice up their marriage make the decision a no-brainer. Once aboard, Mercedes is surprised to see two people she met through her ex-boyfriend Lorenzo: former University of Havana professor Selfa Segarra and down-on-his-luck Spanish writer Javier Jurado. Even stranger: they also received a free cruise.

When Selfa disappears on their first day at sea, Mercedes and Javier begin to wonder if their presence on the cruise is more than coincidence. Mercedes confides her worries to her husband, but he convinces her that it’s all in her head.

However, when Javier dies under mysterious circumstances after disembarking in Havana, and Nolan is nowhere to be found, Mercedes scrambles through the city looking for him, fearing her suspicions were correct all along.

EXCERPT:

Surprise Tickets

     The cruise ship Narwhal, all twelve decks of her, towered above the terminal building. It had a festive air, with the hull painted white and bright ribbons of red, yellow and green splashed all over. From a distance it looked like a giant tropical bird that had inexplicably landed on water.
     August in Miami was, as usual, ninety-four degrees with a devilish mix of heat and humidity that made you want to crawl inside a refrigerator. The Nautilus instructions said to be at Terminal B before noon, but it was well past one and the line to enter the building wasn’t moving. It was worse than being at an airport, por Dios! Then I remembered that we had no right to complain. After all, we had gotten the cruise for free.

      I was still scratching my head about the whole thing. It all began when a young woman showed up at Pretty and Pampered, the pet grooming salon where I worked part-time, asking for me. She looked like a teenager, but dressed professionally in a beige suit, and introduced herself as a Nautilus representative. I was getting ready to give a summer cut to a standard poodle when she presented me with an embossed envelope and cooed, "Congratulations, Ms. Spivey! You’ve just won two cruise tickets to Havana!"
     I was born and raised in Havana. After marrying Nolan in 2008, I had returned many times to visit my grandmother but never thought of taking a cruise back. And in July 2017, sailing to Cuba was the last thing on my mind. "I’ve won what?" I asked.
      The poodle took advantage of my surprise to get away and hide under a chair. 
     "A couple of tickets!" the girl chirped, perky as could be. "Aboard the Narwhal, our most popular ship! The cruise’s departing on August the tenth." 
      Nautilus Cruise Line had started to offer short cruises that included Cuba in their itineraries, she explained. They were carrying out their biggest ever promotional campaign with many giveaways. I was one of the lucky winners. Cool, eh? What that chick didn’t say was how and where I had signed up for the raffle or whatever it was that I had won.
 
Praise for Death Under the Perseids:
 
“Dovalpage allows Mercedes a vivid, emotional tour of Havana as she explores the areas where she grew up and how the city still lives in her heart . . . Death Under the Perseids offers as many surprises as the meteor shower it is named after.” —Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel 
 
  “From the start of Teresa Dovalpage's Death Under the Perseids, a highly entertaining mystery set in Havana, there’s an ominous tone, a hint of something repressed beneath the main character’s narration . . . Like the Perseids meteor shower that once every hundred years or so lets us ‘look back across time’ in the universe, this trip to Havana forces Mercedes ‘with a biting awareness’ to confront her past.” —Carole E. Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
 
 “[A] refreshing and elusive Cuban crime novel.” —Jack Batten, The Toronto Star 
 
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On Sale During the month of June at Amazon $2.99 

 

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About Teresa Dovalpage

 

 

Born in Havana, Cuba, Teresa Dovalpage has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of New Mexico and is currently a Spanish professor at New Mexico Junior College. She is also the author of twelve novels, three collections of short stories, and three theater plays. Her Havana Mystery series, published by Soho Crime, debuted with the culinary mystery Death Comes in through the Kitchen (2018). The second novel, Queen of Bones (2019) was chosen by NBC News as one of the top 10 books by and about Latinos in 2019. The third and fourth — Death of a Telenovela Star (2020) and Death under the Perseids (2021) — are set on Caribbean cruises. You can find more about her on her English blog or Spanish blog.

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