Garcia-Aguilera, Carolina

Lupe Solano Mysteries
Bloody Waters Bloody Waters (1996)
From Library Journal
This first novelist incorporates standard mystery formula with great success by adding her own subtle twists. Young private investigator Lupe Solano, who belongs to a wealthy, Miami-based Cuban-American family, struggles to locate the birth mother of an illegally adopted baby who needs a transplant. But before her search yields any answers, a murder occurs. Fans of Edna Buchanan should enjoy this adventurous, refreshing, and alternative view of Miami.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bloody Shame Bloody Shame (1997)
From Publishers Weekly
"What a soap opera," says lawyer Tommy McDonald when, near the end of this story, he hears Miami PI Lupe Solano explain why the police should release jeweler Alonso Arango Sr., Tommy's client, who is being held for the shooting death of Gustavo Gaston. Tommy's assessment is generous-soap opera fans take more interest in characters and their doings than can be mustered for the folks here. Arango claims self-defense, saying Gaston attacked him with a knife which, oddly, vanished from the crime scene. Lupe cares about this only because her friend Margarita Vidal intimated that she had intriguing information on Arango-and died in a car accident before revealing it. Since Margarita was even dearer than a really good manicure (and that's dear indeed), Lupe, the quintessential Cuban-American princess, tries to sift the truth from the misinformation and outright lies supplied by Arango's obnoxious relatives and loyal employees. Lupe's concern escalates when she realizes that her Mercedes is being professionally tailed-and when the missing knife shows up embedded in another member of the Arango circle. Garcia-Aguilera creates momentum more from the quantity of suspects than from their quality. Worse, Lupe, who debuted encouragingly in Bloody Waters, rather than evolving into a complex character, is morphing into a banal admirer of luxury consumer goods. Mystery Guild alternate.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bloody Secrets Bloody Secrets (1998)
From Library Journal
Despite the tacit disapproval of her body- and health-conscious cousin and co-worker, Cuban American investigator Lupe Solano, last seen in Bloody Shame (LJ 2/1/97), takes a case involving a raft refugee from Cuba. Aristocratic Luis Delgado's long-dead parents sent part of their wealth to Miami with friends when Castro took over, but when Luis claims the money, the now-prominent "friends" try to erase the debt by hiring a hit man. Lupe treads carefully, both because of the family's influence and because she finds her client attractive. Lupe's energetic lifestyle, her fascinating friends, and the author's fluid segues make this an essential purchase.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A Miracle in Paradise A Miracle in Paradise (1999)
From Publishers Weekly
Smart, savvy Lupe Solano returns for murder, romance and another caf? con leche in the fourth installment of Garc!a-Agu!lera's Miami-based series (Bloody Secrets, etc.). This time it's Lupe's sister Lourdes, who's a nun at the Order of the Holy Rosary, who presents the PI with a troubling mystery. Lourdes's Mother Superior hires Lupe to look into claims that on October 10, Cuban Independence Day, a miracle will take place when the holy statute of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre will cry tears over the separation of her people in Cuba and the U.S. Lupe has less than a month to find out who or what is behind this miracle, and if it will indeed take place. Her trusty sidekicks Nestor and Marisol, at first wary of the very notion of questioning the Catholic Church, assist Lupe in the investigation, digging into the suspicious activities of a group of Yugoslavian nuns who are undoubtedly tied into to the miracle. When corpses start turning up, Lupe knows she's involved in dangerous business, but her curiosity impels her to seek the truth. A memorable tale of Cuban-American life, this novel boasts an engaging plot and a fiery heroine armed with sharp insights into Cuban and Catholic ways that will lead readers happily into the sultry heat of Little Havana. Agent, Elizabeth Ziemska. (Oct.) FYI: Garc!a-Agu!lera, a former Miami PI, emigrated from Cuba to the U.S. in 1960.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Havana Heat Havana Heat (2000)
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.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bitter Sugar Bitter Sugar (2001)
From Publishers Weekly
Surprises abound in Lupe Solano's sixth foray (after 2000's Havana Heat) into the seamier side of Miami's Cuban Amigra community, whose residents await Castro's defeat and an eventual return home. Some exiled sugar barons have made second fortunes, like Tio Ramon, head of the Suarez family and Lupe's father's lifelong friend. When Ramon's nephew and co-owner of the family sugar mills receives a buyout offer and then disappears, he asks her Papi for help and the dutiful daughter gears up immediately. Lupe is not always so skillful at juggling her two lives, that of a cosseted daughter, still living at home and pinning medals of the Virgin to her brassiere strap, with that of the emancipated single woman, a savvy PI with lovers and a wardrobe to die for. The author exploits this dichotomy to sometimes hilarious and sometimes tragic effect. As Detective Anderson of the Miami police points out, bodies seem to accumulate around her. Loyalty, tradition, principle and justice guide her, although she's not above taking a few shortcuts to get what she needs. She will go to extraordinary lengths for family, friends and clients, often at no small cost to herself, as is the case when she winds up in the hospital. This present challenge is a chance to gain her father's approval of her career choice, even though he may not like what she uncovers. Garcia-Aguilera saves her best surprise until last, leaving fans wanting more. (Oct. since Garcia-Aguilera is currently writing a romance novel for HarperCollins.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.




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