Morrow, Nov 2001, 24.00, 336 pp.
Her Cuban-American father dislikes the profession of Miami-based private detective Lupe Solano because he does not believe this is a proper profession for a good girl. Thus, when he asks Lupe to help his friend Ramon, she immediately agrees to show him that she is good at her trade.
Ramon wants Lupe to investigate an offer to buy the five sugar mills they once owned in Cuba before Castro took control. His nephew Alexander wants to sell but cannot without Ramon's signature. Ramon stubbornly refuses. Alexander asks Ramon to meet him at a dumpy hotel, but when he arrives there he finds his nephew dead. The police believe Ramon had the motive and opportunity so they arrest him for second-degree murder. Lupe obtains an attorney for the accused and begins making inquiries that will clear Ramon's name.
The Lupe Solano mysteries provide readers with a taste of how it feels for Cuban expatriates to live in America. BITTER SUGAR is a great installment in this fine series because the audience sees a different side of Lupe, who desperately wants to gain her father's approval to the point of risking her life. Carolina Garcia-Aguilera captures the attention of her fans from the very first page and never lets go until the final page when new readers will want to obtain the previous novels so they can read more Solano adventures.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner