A Review of Mango, Mambo, and Murder; A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery by RAQUEL V.REYES
FIVE STAR BOOK REVIEW
Mango, Mambo, and Murder; A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery is a most enjoyable read. The main character, Miriam Quiñones-Smith has a fascinating background as a Food Anthropologist. Her knowledge sprinkled through the narrative of the story adds an interesting cultural angle. I love books that teach me a thing or two while they entertain me.
The multicultural multilingual Miami experience is present and believable. I felt like I had driven down to Hialeah; the Spanish phrases, comments added throughout the story are such that non-Spanish speakers will understand through context, and readers may learn a word or two.
Miriam’s growth and transformation as a reader had me cheering for her success and how she learned to stand up to her most unpleasant mother-in-law. There is a nice balance of comically exaggerated and lovely, pleasant examples of characters in every culture represented in the story.
I found myself laughing, cheering, and in a spicy fun cooking mood. I look forward to the next mystery and to reconnecting with Miriam, Alma, and all the other colorful characters in this delightful read.
I bought the book at Murder on the Beach, Mystery Bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida.
Faydra “Spider” Green is a dedicated Navy JAG lawyer who has lived her life in the shadows of a great and powerful man: her father, former President of the United States William Green. Green cannot heal the wound in his relationship with his daughter. His former power and influence curse Faydra and cause her to wonder if her accomplishments were her own doing.
A lawyer by trade, Faydra is both anxious and excited as she undertakes her first homicide investigation: —the brutal murder of a Navy SEAL. She reasons that a successful investigation will provide her the opportunity to validate her sense of self-worth. Thanks to her remarkable deductive abilities, Faydra soon realizes that the accused man, a Special Ops Marine war hero, may be innocent and that the Navy is using her as a pawn in a complex cover-up.
Meanwhile, a seasoned Navy Sea Captain, Egan Fletcher, whose wife had died eight years earlier, struggles to balance his Navy career with raising a son. When the Navy purposefully pairs him with Faydra in a meeting, the two Navy officers embark on an adrenaline-pumping adventure. It is a top-secret mission- impossible that will take them halfway around the world in an attempt to avert a catastrophic act of terrorism in the form of a biological war.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Washington State’s Puget Sound and the mystique of East Asia, Faydra’s story revolves around a woman who appears to be as pure as the driven snow—yet, she is driven by an insatiable need to complete any assignment, no matter how dangerous. Along the way, she transforms into a symbol of hope, perseverance, and a woman’s ability to overcome life-threatening events.
Faydra “Spider” Green is a spirited Navy lawyer who wants nothing more than to do the right thing and see justice done. After reconciling with her father, former President William Green, Fay is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Alvin Joe, a retired admiral. He has vanished – seemingly into thin air – from his Florida home, along with secret files for a top-secret military weapon. Alongside her bubbly, quick-witted sister and a handsome, affable Sheriff, Fay sets out to track down Joe. But she soon finds herself embroiled in a deeper and far more sinister plot involving an unscrupulous corporation, the mafia, and a truly evil man who has his sights set on destroying her.
Faydra “Spider” Green has had a storied career as a Navy lawyer, all while juggling being the daughter of a former U.S. President. She has successfully navigated complex diplomatic situations, pulse-pounding legal investigations, and dangerous military missions, managing each time to save the day. But now, Fay finds herself faced with a task unlike anything she has ever tackled before: fierce mafioso Roman Justine, the man who had nearly cost Fay her life, has seemingly returned from the dead. Now, Justine, hellbent on revenge, poses a threat to Fay and national security. Fay will have to go to extraordinary lengths to stop him, even tampering with the bounds of time and space.
Katrinka Lavrova is a young Russian espionage agent discovered by Russian Navy Captain Lavrov at the age of nineteen. Katrinka worked as both a spy and a sparrow since age thirteen to support her aged parents. Lavrov rescues the woman and becomes her guardian. Captain Lavrov introduces Katrinka to Fay. Fay asks Katrinka to help her steal the top-secret plans from Roman Justine’s office safe. Fay grows fond of Kat and offers her a fresh start in the United States. Katrinka dares to hope for a better life by accepting Fay’s offer.
Navy lawyer and former First Daughter Faydra (Fay) Green is no longer quite so haunted by the dark events of her recent past and is hoping for some well-deserved rest. But her world is once again turned upside down when a shocking secret about her adopted daughter, Katrinka (Kat), is revealed. But before Fay can help Kat make any decisions about her future, Kat is captured and thrown into an Egyptian prison.
She manages to escape but must flee to safety across Europe, trying to stay one step ahead of several mysterious pursuers. Soon, Fay and Kat discover they are being chased by more than ordinary forces – Azrael, the Angel of Death, has taken a puzzling interest in their situation and a dangerous demon appears to be stalking Kat’s every move. It will take all of Fay’s strength and ingenuity to meet these, and other, challenges looming ahead of her, while Kat must ask herself what she truly wants out of life.
Norm Harris’ first novel debuted on an Amazon bestseller list in 2002 and a Writer’s Digest award winner. It was a one-and-done, but now he’s back with a plan to publish the Spider Green Mystery Thriller Series from the first mystery/thriller of days gone by. Except for time spent in military service, he is a second-generation Seattleite (that’s what they call those who dwell in the shadow of Mt. Rainier), with his legal beagle son, K-K, and five giant tropical fish. Norm’s stories spring from his memories of people who he has met and places and the places he has visited as he traveled the world. Diversity, inclusion, and equality are foremost in each story. “Fay is an admirable, tough, brilliant protagonist.” said one reviewer. Said another, “Lt Commander Faydra Green from the JAG Corps is a “take no prisoners” protagonist…” Watch for his four upcoming first quarter 2022 novels, “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”, “Arid Sea”, “Deception Pass”, and “The Girl Who Knew Death” in what he hopes to be an award-winning mystery thriller series. And in late 2022 his fifth book in the series “Rain and Wind and Fire”. Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed the stories please consider leaving a review!