Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution, complete with authentic Cuban recipes
Havana, Cuba, 2003: Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn’t there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.
With Yarmi’s murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn’t bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all—but did anyone?
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616958847
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1616958847
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!!
- When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I can’t remember an exact moment. I became a voracious reader at a very young age and at some point during my teens I made the transition from reader to writer. It happened sort of naturally…after reading so many books I felt ready to produce one of my own. I started by writing several short stories in Spanish, my native language. My mother was horrified because they were “too dark.” “Where do you get these ideas?” she would ask, horrified.
- What inspired you to write this book?
The spark for Death Comes in through the Kitchen came from a conversation with my mother. We were talking about my grandma’s recipes after I failed to make a proper arroz con pollo (rice with chicken, cooked together with onion, garlic and peppers) and she suggested I try them first and then collect them in a book. I thought that nobody would buy a cookbook written by me but also knew that, as a fiction writer, I had a better chance to publish a novel that included recipes. I incorporated them into the book I was working on, a novel that featured Padrino, a santero-detective. And voila…the result was a culinary mystery.
- If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
A food blogger is murdered in Havana the day her American boyfriend comes to propose to her.
- What are you up to next?
I am finishing the second book in a Cuban mystery series for Soho Crime. The title is Queen of Bones and it also features Padrino. Most of my books have a theme that informs the entire plot. In Death Comes through the Kitchen, the theme is food. In Queen of Bones, it is Santería, a fusion of African and Catholic beliefs. Part of the story takes place in El Cementerio de Colón, the Havana cemetery…it’s somewhat dark, but not as much as my first stories. And hopefully I instilled some humour into it as well!
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
It depends on the day. Right now one of my inspirations is a fellow Cuban, Veronica Vega. A novelist, journalist and animal activist, Veronica has two novels published this year: El arte de respirar (The Art of Breathing by Editorial Hypermedia) and Aquí lo que hay es que irse (We Have to Get out of Here, originally published in France in 2010 and now in Miami by NeoClubEdiciones). Veronica works under very difficult conditions, writes, dances and still finds time to take care of “susanimalitos,” the cats and dogs that she has adopted to give them a second chance at life. As a hopeless animal lover myself, I identify with Veronica and admire her work very much.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Dovalpage is a Cuban transplant now firmly rooted in New Mexico. She was born in Havana and now lives in Hobbs, where she is a Spanish and ESL professor at New Mexico Junior College.
She has published nine novels and three collections of short stories. Her English-language novels are A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004), Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010), and Death Comes in Through the Kitchen (Soho Crime, 2018), a culinary mystery with authentic Cuban recipes.
Her novellas Las Muertas de la West Mesa (The West Mesa Murders, based on a real event), Sisters in Tea/ Hermanas enTé and Death by Smartphone/ Muerte por Smartphone were published in serialized format by Taos News.
In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murcianoen La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regentaen La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012), Orfeo en el Caribe (AtmósferaLiteraria, Spain, 2013), and El retorno de la expatriada (The Expat’s Return, Egales, Spain, 2014).
Social Media Links –
Blog in English: https://teredovalpage.com/
Blog in Spanish: https://teresadovalpage.com/