Havana Fever, A Mario Conde Mystery

Havana Fever, A Mario Conde Mystery

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Mario Conde, a former police detective turned second-hand book dealer, finds a magazine clipping about a singer from the 1950s, Violeta del Râio, and begins to investigate her mysterious retirement.

Perseus Publishing

“The finest crime-fiction writer in the Spanish language...”--The London Times

“Full of atmosphere and descriptions to savour, this is as much a life-affirming tribute to Havana as a fine novel of death and detection.”--The Independent

“Police work is not merely a vocation but a metaphor for a futile yearning to solve the island’s deepest crimes and misdemeanours.”--Times Literary Supplement

Mario Conde has retired from the police force and makes a living trading in antique books. Havana is now flooded with dollars, populated by pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and other hunters of the night. In the book collection of a rich Cuban who fled after the fall of Batista, Conde discovers an article about Violeta del Rio, a beautiful bolero singer of the 1950s who disappeared mysteriously. A murder soon follows. This is a crime story set in today’s darker Cuba, but it is also an evocation of the Havana of Batista, the city of a hundred night clubs where the paths of Marlon Brando and Meyer Lansky crossed.

Probably Leonardo Padura’s best book, Havana Fever is many things: a suspenseful crime novel, a cruel family saga, and an ode to literature and his beloved, ravaged island.


Scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. The return of Mario Conde.


Blackwell North Amer
Havana, 2003, fourteen years since Mario Conde retired from the police force and much has changed in Cuba. He now makes a living trading in antique books bought from families selling off their libraries in order to survive. In the house of Alcides de Montes de Oca, a rich Cuban who fled after the fall of Batista, Conde discovers an extraordinary book collection and, buried therein, a newspaper article about Violeta del Rio, a beautiful bolero singer of the 1950's, who disappeared mysteriously. Conde's intuition sets him off on an investigation that leads him into a darker Cuba, now flooded with dollars, populated by pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers and other hunters of the night. But this novel also allows Padura to evoke the Havana of Batista, the city of a hundred night clubs where Marlon Brando and Josephine Baker listened to boleros, mambos and jazz. Probably Padura's best book, Havana Fever is many things: a suspenseful crime novel, a cruel family saga and an ode to literature and his beloved, ravaged island.

Publisher: London : Bitter Lemon, 2009
ISBN: 9781904738367
1904738362
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY PADUR...L
Characteristics: 286 pages ; 20 cm

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