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Midnight in Havana An Inspector Ramirez Investigation by Peggy Blair

Midnight in Havana An Inspector Ramirez Investigation

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July 2013 Debut of the Month.

Winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers' Choice award.

This Cuban set Crime Mystery is a real gem. Inspector Ramirez has an unusual gift bestowed on him by his possibly demented dying grandmother - he is visited by (polite but silent) visions of the dead whose cases he is investigating. Well it’s that or he himself is dying of the same rare, hallucination inducing dementia.

First in the series finds Ramirez certain who the killer is but hogtied by the Cuban legal system that only gives him seventy two hours to secure an indictment.

This smart, dark and gripping crime debut was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and we can’t wait for the next Inspector Ramirez mystery.

'A Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

‘I am a bit of a sucker for the weird and unusual and a taste of the exotic, so when I saw this script I sat up and took notice. Set in contemporary Havana, we are introduced to the major crime unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police led by an inspector who sees the ghosts of unsolved murder victims who in turn is assisted by a dwarf pathologist who needs a stepladder to be able to conduct his autopsies. Although handicapped by a creaking bureaucracy, intermittent steam-internet and a lack of pencils, the policemen’s resourcefulness, dark subversive wit and profound intelligence more than compensate for these shortcomings. A compelling mystery with brilliant characters and a fantastic setting this is a spellbinding whodunnit. But above all a book of immense humanity.’ – Neville Moir, Publishing Director, Polygon

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Midnight in Havana a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - ' 'The most gripping book I have read in years! - Edel Waugh. Scroll down to read more reviews.

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Midnight in Havana An Inspector Ramirez Investigation by Peggy Blair

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. 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 has his own troubles. 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.


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review Midnight in Havana. You can read their reviews below.

Janette Skinner - 'It is much more than a detective novel and kept my interest to the very last word...and all in all it is a very interesting read.' Click here to read the full review.

Glynis Elliott - 'I was immediately engrossed in this novel from the first few pages, it had the feel of an old Raymond Chandler novel.' Click here to read the full review.

Lynda DeFreitas - 'An intriguing book with lots of twists in the story. If this debut novel is the beginning of the Inspector Ramirez series of books then I'm looking forward to reading more from Peggy Blair.' Click here to read the full review.

Barbara Middlemast-Neal - 'This is an easy read; the publisher’s claims that this is a “literary” crime novel are exaggerated. This is Peggy Blair’s debut novel though, and she has talent.' Click here to read the full review.

Les Warriner - 'I thoroughly enjoyed Midnight in Havana and would recommend it to any Whodunit fans.' Click here to read the full review.

Jillian McFrederick - 'Well recommended, this author is one to follow and I for one will be watching out for more from her.' Click here to read the full review.

Ray Orgill
- 'This is a mystery novel to turn most others upside down.' Click here to read the full review.

Kathy Howell - 'I would thoroughly recommend this book…but have time as it’s difficult to put down!' Click here to read the full review.

Debbie Patrick - 'I can honestly say that this book was one of the best ones that I have read by a new author in a long time. I really enjoyed it.' Click here to read the full review.

Edel Waugh - 'The most gripping book I have read in years!' Click here to read the full review.

Suzanne Marsh - 'There is nothing like this perfect thriller. Midnight in Havana will appeal to a wide audience. I loved how the story is full of twists and turns. I was gripped to the very last chapter.' Click here to read the full review.

William Alexander - 'The tale is complex and winds itself together like a thousand loose strands before unraveling itself and its unexpected twist at the end...a carefully constructed and interesting read.' Click here to read the full review.

Praise for Peggy Blair:

'A thrilling and engrossing mystery that uses the intrigue of a communist Cuba setting to add not only an interesting backdrop but real jeopardy to the investigation. A fantastic start to what I hope will be a long series' - Bookbag

About the Author

Peggy Blair

Peggy Blair has practised law for more than thirty years, working as both a criminal defence lawyer and Crown prosecutor, and is a former member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th June 2013


Peggy Blair

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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


352 pages


Crime / Mystery
All Shortlists and Winners
Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
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Crime & mystery



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