March 2013 Indie Next List
“The Beggar's Opera introduces readers to a once beautiful but now crumbling Havana and a cast of wonderful characters, including the sensitive and cunning Inspector Ricardo Ramirez and medical investigator Hector Apiro. The stark picture of life in modern day Cuba adds atmosphere and interest to the complex criminal investigation of the mystery - the rape and death of an eight-year-old boy. This is a totally captivating debut to a mystery series with an unforgettable setting and compelling characters.”
— Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
In beautiful, crumbling Old Havana, Canadian detective Mike Ellis hopes the sun and sand will help save his troubled marriage. He doesn’t yet know that it’s dead in the water—much like the little Cuban boy last seen begging the Canadian couple for a few pesos on the world famous Malecon. For Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Major Crimes Unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police, finding his prime suspect isn’t a problem—Cuban law is. He has only seventy-two hours to secure an indictment and prevent a vicious killer from leaving the island. But Ramirez also has his own troubles to worry about. He’s dying of the same dementia that killed his grandmother, an incurable disease that makes him see the ghosts of victims of unsolved murders. As he races against time, the dead haunt his every step …
About the Author
Peggy Blair was a lawyer for more than thirty years. Her critically acclaimed mystery The Beggar’s Opera won the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers’ Choice contest and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award. The Poisoned Pawn is the second in the Inspector Ramirez series. Peggy lives in Ottawa.
I have a penchant for smart, dark, literary crime fiction, and The Beggar's Opera is all of that: an excellent book. - Allan Guthrie, author of Two Way Split