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Havana Blue (Mario Conde Mystery 3) (Mario Conde Investigates)

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The male characters are obsessed with women, but it doesn't go much deeper than the appreciation of anatomy. Plants with tall flowering stems and lots of foliage may lose a great deal of water in transit and cutting back helps reduce this stress. But Havana Blue seems even more melancholy (though Mario gets the girl, in a sense) and more critical (if I'm not forgetting some of the critical edge of the books translated earlier). Like all the best crime fiction the plots in these stories serve as a vehicle for exploring the human condition as much as for creating suspense. Police lieutenant Mario Conde, known as the Count, investigates the disappearance of an up-and-coming government trade official, who also happens to be an old classmate, married to Tamara, a girl Conde and his friends fantasized about back in high school.

The books cuts back and forth between Conde’s memories of high school and the present as he tries to figure out if the too-good-to-be-true Rafael Morin is really the upright comrade everyone says he is. Spray the applicator nozzle on your pulse points, wrists, insides of the elbows, back of the knees, chest, the sides of the neck and behind the ears. Though it’s the middle of a weekend, he is asked to urgently investigate the mysterious disappearance of Rafael Morin, a high-level business manager in the Cuban nomenklatura. They’re made from durable Italian porcelain, and will keep their beautiful looks for years to come, with the minimum of fuss.

I appreciate the author has certain special strictures in writing a detective story set in the country where he lives. The fact that this novel, the first of three, was written by a Cuban resident and not a Cuban exile gives it a certain sterility and dry quality one can imagine. Havana police lieutenant Mario Conde awakes on January 1, 1989, with a pounding New Year's Eve hangover and an uncomfortable assignment: the reported disappearance of Rafael Mor"n Rodr"guez, a charismatic and influential politico in Cuba's ruling nomenklatura. Boasting a bold, clean-lined silhouette, these sunglasses are created for a perfect fit under motorbike helmets.

It should be noted that the wallichianum types are usually the last of all the Geraniums to surface in spring, so if you think you may have lost them over winter, stay patient as they may still be asleep! In Padura’s quartet, the plot is of relatively minor importance, although it certainly kept my attention.

But the prefatory note is a meditation on the possibilities of "reality", and Conde continues writing his novel in his head.

She was the girl he longed for and lost to Rafael Morin, an eminent "business manager" (crook) who started off in poverty in the barrios.

Inspired by traditional Moroccan patterns, these delightful tiles offer an intoxicating mix of geometric motifs and subtle colours. Needless to say, Conde does not want to get out of bed and go looking for Morin, who is now a high ranking official in the Cuban bureaucracy. This was because many plants would be dormant during this time of the year and foliage would either be reduced or absent, making them easier to post.

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