Monday 25 February 2013

The Poisoned Pawn by Peggy Blair

Published by Penguin Group Canada

Some of you will already be familiar with Cuban Inspector Ricardo Ramirez from his debut appearance in The Beggar's Opera. If you missed that title, don't worry as one lucky reader will win a copy of The Poisoned Pawn as well as a copy of The Beggar's Opera so you can read them both! 

Inspector Ramirez has quite the challenge in this novel. When a priest is found in possession of pornography featuring Cuban children, Ramirez is sent to Canada in order to bring the priest back home where he'll face the consequences of his actions. To further complicate issues while he is in Ottawa trying to navigate the legal and political minefield that will allow him to take custody of the priest, women back home in Havana have begun to drop dead from what is believed to be some form of toxin. When it's further revealed that two of the victims were tourists, Ramirez needs to act fast before a travel advisory is issued, and Cuban tourism grinds to a halt. 

It's not often that I find myself drawn to books of the murder mystery type but when I was asked if I would like to participate in The Poisoned Pawn blog tour, I knew I couldn't or shouldn't say no. I was highly curious to see if the second instalment of this series lived up to my expectations and I was definitely not disappointed. Once again Peggy Blair provides a strong cast of characters, along with a brilliantly executed plot that certainly lacked the transparency that can occur with some mystery and thriller novels. I can't comment on the detail and/or accuracy of the Cuban setting, having never been there, but Ottawa was captured perfectly. I always get a little more enjoyment out of a book when it speaks of places that are familiar to me. One of the strongest impressions this book has left with me, is that the writing has a wonderfully fluid style that makes it impossible to avoid being caught up in this fast-paced adventure. So much so that I picked up the novel this afternoon knowing I could get an hour or so of reading time and then found myself at the end of the book, realizing it had been close to 5 hours and the light is fading fast.  

It's all of these things combined that makes The Poisoned Pawn a novel that you should check out. Even if, like me, murder mysteries are not something that usually appeal, you might just be surprised. If you'd like to see more reviews of this title, you can check out the links below and find out what the other blog tour participants think of this title too.

If you'd like to try and win a copy of each of the Inspector Ramirez titles, it's your lucky day thanks to the wonderful folks over at Penguin Canada.

All you have to do is check out Peggy's website (listed below) and then let me know via e-mail what is so special about the martini shaker that is featured there. This contest is open to Canadians only.

Author's website:

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