Friday, December 20, 2019

"Queen of Bones" by Teresa Dovalpage


Are you in for a real treat today. Who doesn't love a great mystery to solve. I know I do. "Queen of Bones" by Teresa Dovalpage show potential to become a #1 Best Seller as it captures you from the first moment you start reading. I hope you enjoy reading about the author and the book.
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
Set between Cuba's twenty years apart, Havana native Teresa Dovalpage’s new murder mystery explores lingering grudges between old friends and lovers separated by Castro's final sanctioned raft exodus.


 
Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Havana for the first time since fleeing Cuba by raft twenty years ago. He is traveling with his American wife, Sharon, and hopes to reconnect with Victor, his best friend from college—and, unbeknownst to Sharon, he also hopes to discover what has become of two ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.
 
Juan is surprised to learn that Victor has become Victoria and runs a popular drag show at the local hot spot Café Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a Santería priest and former detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group’s lies and hunt down the killer.




Teresa Dovalpage
 
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1966, and lived there until 1996. I went to college in Havana, obtaining a BA in English and an MA in Spanish Literature. After I moved to the United States, I decided to get a Ph.D. (because I am a bookworm) in Hispanic Studies. I currently work as a Spanish and ESL professor at New Mexico Junior College. Queen of Bones is my thirteenth published book, and the second in the Havana Mystery series with Soho Crime. The first one in the series was Death Comes in through the Kitchen, a culinary mystery.

What inspired you to author this book?

I want to take my readers on a journey of Havana, from five-star hotels and old mansions to humble apartments and the famed Cristobal Colon Cemetery, which plays an important role in the novel. I also wanted to reflect on themes like the homecoming of exiles, lost love, and the rituals of Santeria. Here is a picture of me at the Havana cemetery with a classic vintage Cuban car (almendrón).

 
What inspired you to author this book?
I want to take my readers on a journey of Havana, from five-star hotels and old mansions to humble apartments and the famed Cristobal Colon Cemetery, which plays an important role in the novel. I also wanted to reflect on themes like the homecoming of exiles, lost love, and the rituals of Santeria. Here is a picture of me at the Havana cemetery with a classic vintage Cuban car (almendrón).
 
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
 
The publisher (Soho Crime) took care of it. I have always loved their covers and was in love with the red and yellow theme of this one.
 
 
 
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
My mother, probably. We argue a lot, but when I went back to Havana last summer, after 19 years, I realized she was present, in one way or another, in everything I write and do. She is a pharmacy doctor, just turned 83 but has the energy of a twenty-year old. An avid reader, too. She reads all my books, even those in English. here is a picture of my mom and me in a bicitaxi in Havana, this summer.
 
 
 
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
Finding time to write. I work full time as a college professor, so I had to carve time every night to complete the book.
Tell your readers about your book.
Here is the description from the publisher, much better than what I could say. But let me know if you want something different.

Set between Cuba's twenty years apart, Havana native Teresa Dovalpage’s new murder mystery explores lingering grudges between old friends and lovers separated by Castro's final sanctioned raft exodus.Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Havana for the first time since fleeing Cuba by raft twenty years ago. He is traveling with his American wife, Sharon, and hopes to reconnect with Victor, his best friend from college—and, unbeknownst to Sharon, he also hopes to discover what has become of two ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.
 
Juan is surprised to learn that Victor has become Victoria and runs a popular drag show at the local hot spot Café Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a Santería priest and former detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group’s lies and hunt down the killer.

If appropriate, you can also use quotes from these editorial reviews:
“A story that blends intricate legwork in the name of investigating with a meditation on the meaning of family, nation, and home.”
—Crime Reads

“[An] enticing second Havana mystery...Dovalpage skillfully evokes the lights and shadows of life in Cuba...Vibrant supporting characters such as Padrino, a Santería priest, and Lt. Marlene Martínez, a police detective, lend color. This moving tale of love, loss, greed, and betrayal will also appeal to non-mystery readers.”
—Publishers Weekly

"Cuba shines here, as Havana native Dovalpage contrasts its politics and society over a generation, making this a good bet for armchair travelers as well as mystery buffs."
—Booklist

“Deftly unfolding details within the action, she reveals Cuba and its people as rich with fascination and depth . . . Dovalpage's writing hints at the possibility that she will be to Cuba what Donna Leon has become for Venice.”
—New York Journal of Books
Who is your target audience, and why?
Mystery lovers, of course, but also anybody interested in finding out about life in Cuba.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
 
Being a published author. When my first novel A Girl like Che Guevara, was published by Soho Press in April 2004, that was the best day in my life. I have published many more books afterward, but I will always remember the feeling of holding that first hardcover in my hands.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
With the Havana Mystery series, I am writing in English about my country of origin. Readers will have a first-hand account of life on the island. And, like I always say at book signings, though Spanish is my first language, I don't have an accent when I write in English. :-)
 

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