The Beggar's Opera

The Beggar's Opera

Paperback - 2012
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Inspector Ricardo Ramirez investigates the murder of a Cuban boy in Havana.
Published: Toronto : Pintail, 2012.
ISBN: 9780143186427
Branch Call Number: F BLA
Characteristics: 346 p. ;,21 cm.


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Mar 15, 2017

An evocative description of Cuban life and an engrossing tale. I felt the pain of the detective dying of a genetic disorder that caused him to hallucinate. But I was let down by how this story line developed. Mike Ellis is a sympathetic character that I wanted to root for and he held my interest to the end. An OK read but not something I would recommend widely.

Feb 17, 2017

The Beggars Opera took me back to my trip to Cuba some years ago. The shortages, the fact that locals are restricted where they can go, the poverty and the politics. While I really enjoyed my 2 weeks in Cuba and learned a lot from the tour guide, I felt sorrow for the people and their situation. This book was well researched and captured many of those feelings.

JCLKatyW Jun 02, 2014

The Beggar's Opera was difficult for me to get through, not because of the writing but because of the tough subject matter. Peggy Blair writes an illuminating book on what it means to be imprisoned in a Cuban jail and on the other hand a detective in Cuba, since the book is told from both Dectective Ramirez and Senior Ellis's perspective. I can't say that I would ever want to travel to Cuba now after reading the book, but it did give me a better perspective of the kinds of things Cubans have to deal with. I had a hard time with the case in this story of the young street boy who is found dead in the ocean after having been sexually assaulted. I wanted to believe that Senor Ellis was innocent, but on the other hand, I couldn't like him without knowing if he had committed this awful crime. I wonder if I might like a different story by Peggy Blair a little better.

emily8 Mar 25, 2014

A little neat on tying things together. but still an excellent debut novel. Also valuable lesson for being in the right place at the right time in meeting Ian Rankin.

Feb 26, 2014

An Ottawa author writes a police/murder drama set in Cuba featuring a Cuban detective. It makes for an interesting twist on things but without a good story line it wouldn't hold up. A young boy is raped and murdered and a visiting Ottawa policeman is accused. How his innocence is proven is a tad simplistic but the Cuban setting keeps the interest up.
I am curious to see if her next novel shows improved story telling and more complex characters.

Dec 27, 2013

Murder and mystery in old Havana.

Dec 26, 2013

This first mystery featuring Inspector Ramirez is a mixed bag: Ramirez and coroner/doctor/surgeon colleague Apiro are good characters, with real possibility to be great in future installments, but are bogged down in an-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plot. The story, of a Canadian police officer charged with a brutal crime while on vacation in a Havana decidedly less appealing than tourist brochures would suggest, suffers from too many complications and a crime so offensive, it may turn away many readers. Blair, and future entries in this series, may be one to watch for, but this first book might be best stopped after completing chapter 60.

Nov 02, 2013

In the eagerness to criticize the Castro Government in Cuba, the writer exposes cuban and canadian cops as stupid, who doesn't know what they are doing and have no idea where they stand in the investigation. Beyond the middle of the book, plot wraps more interesting , with a few twists - surprises. The book is full of terrible descriptions of abuse of children.

Diell Oct 17, 2013

Try Padura Leonardo's Havana series
or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther when he ends up in Cuba. excellent.

7sunnydays May 13, 2013

A great read . this first novel had everything, suspense, science, psychology, compassion, international affairs, many plot twists--hope there will be more by Peggy Blair.

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