Roger and Suzanne are back in Montevideo, Uruguay after being summoned from Los Angeles by a late night phone call. One of their friends is suspected of murder and needs their skills as detectives to help clear him of the charges. Life for Roger and especially Suzanne is more complicated these days as they now have an infant son, Robert. The three of them, accompanied by Robert’s nanny, Bruce, fly to Uruguay and the game is afoot. Before long Roger and Suzanne are directly in the middle of a gang war, visiting Chile to learn all about the local crime scene, and meeting some unlikely allies in their mission. The book has lots of action, a good whodunit storyline, and opportunities for regional travel, sightseeing, and eating local foods. Readers new to the series can enjoy this book as a stand-alone introduction to the region and to the series characters.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had just re-read Dashiell Hammett’s “Red Harvest”, the basis for the movie “Last Man Standing”, and found myself wondering what it would have been like if it had been set in contemporary Uruguay rather than prohibition-era Nevada. Montevideo has the second least crime (after Tokyo) rate of any major Capital City in the world, so the concept amused me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters are series regulars, so that part is easy. Some of the unique characters in this novel are based on real people I met in Uruguay and Chile, fictionalized for the book.
The author is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis, near Sacramento in Northern California. Jerry writes “tweener” mystery books (tough and dark mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing) that are fast moving and entertain the reader, while introducing the readers to a region where he has lived and worked that is a long way from home for most English speakers. He and his wife lived previously in Salta, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay for several months each. Jerry selected the most interesting South American locations he found for Roger and Suzanne to visit while solving miscellaneous murders. Montevideo, Salta, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, and Iguazu Falls are also characters in these books, and the novels portray these places as vivid and real.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!