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Mario Conde Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Mario Conde Mystery Books

Havana Red (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Havana Black (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Havana Blue (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Havana Gold (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Havana Fever (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Mario Conde Mystery series is popular novel series written by the award winning journalist and novelist from Cuba named Leonardo Padura. It consists of a total of 8 books, which were released between the years 1991 and 2013. All the books of this mystery series feature the lead character in the role of Mario Conde, who is depicted as a police inspector living in Havana, Cuba. Over the course of the series, Mario Conde is shown trying to overcome the obstacles in his path and solve the mysteries happening around him one after the other. The first book written and published in the series by Leonardo Padura is entitled ‘Havana Blue’. This book was released by the Bitter Lemon Press in the year 2007, after its first release in 1991. Author Padura has set the story of this book in Havana, Cuba, and has described the central characters as Mario Conde, Rafael Morin, and Tamara. At the start of the book, Lieutenant Condo is depicted as suffering from a nasty hangover of New Year’s Eve. In spite of being the mid-weekend and his terrible hangover, the police department asks Mario Conde to investigate about the mysterious vanishing of Rafael Morin. Rafael is known to be a high level business manager working for the Cuban nomenclature. Because of his high status, the Cuban government wants him to be found as early as possible. Mario Conde knew Rafael Morin from the time when they were students. He has his image in his mind as that of a brilliant, good looking, and a reliable comrade, who always achieved whatever he wished to have.

Rafael Morin had even succeeded in acquiring the girl named Tamara, whom Mario Conde was looking to make his. Now that Rafael Morin has risen in an exemplary fashion from his poor status to a picture perfect life, Mario Conde believes that there is more than a single hidden episode from the life of Rafael Morin that needs to be investigated. When Conde pursues the case in the decaying regions of Havana, he goes on to confront his long lost love for the beautiful Tamara. He even learns a few devastating realities about the illusions and dreams of the generation of his time. Author Padura has shown Mario Conde as a vivid character. He is deeply immersed in personal thoughts, memories, and feelings. He even gets copious flashbacks in first person. Conde is also depicted as a typical person. He has drinking problems, hangs out with his old friends, and does not quite hold on a relationship with women. Conde often grumbles about the senior officers in the department and himself takes advantage of a detective sergeant named Manuel Palacios. He seems more like the popular Inspector Morse character from Cuba, except that he likes to listen to jazz music, gets laid occasionally, and seems an overall ok guy to be with. For most of time on duty, Conde hangs out with his friends, eating and drinking heavily. When the case of disappearance of Morin arrives at the desk of Conde, it interrupts the philosophizing and socializing of Conde. The only person that Conde finds more concerned about the well being of Rafael Morin is Tamara. On the whole, the story of this book appears to be more or less an ordinary one. It is comprised of adequate amounts of excitement, mystery, and suspense, that keep the readers guessing until the last page. Many critics felt that the atmosphere and setting of the story stand out. The same can also be said about its characters. The mysterious story looks like more of a character-driven story. The other secondary characters described in the book’s story also seem intriguing and interesting like the primary characters. Author Padura has combined the first-person and the third-person narrative to tell the story. Most of the first person narration is done in places where Mario Conde tells the story. The story and characters develop as the plot moves forward.

Another interesting book published in the mystery series is called as ‘A Tail Of The Snake’. This book was released in 2011 by the TusQuets publication. At the beginning of the story depicted in this novel, author Padura has shown that the only thing that remains in Havana’s old Chinese Quarter is some ruined streets that were besieged the delinquents and the rubble. When the former police officer, Mario Conde, visits the place, he couldn’t help recalling the time that he had spent in the wild and exotic corner of the Havana city several years ago. Mario Conde, he has started working as a salesman of second hand books, feels very sad about the destruction of the Chinese Quarter in Havana. Soon, he is approached by Lieutenant Patricia Chion, whom he finds extremely irresistible. Chion asks Conde to help her solve a strange murder case. The case is about the murder of a solitary man named Pedro Cuang. His dead body was found hanging along with his pet dog. When Patricia reached the crime spot to collect the first information, she found that a finger in Pedro’s hand was cut and he had a circle and a couple of arrows carved on his chest with a knife. When Conde learns about this, he realizes that it is the Santeria rituals.

As he joins Patricia to carry out the investigation, he finds some unexpected threads relating to secret business practices and the history of the misfortune and self-denial that revealed the hidden realities of a number of migrant families from Asia. In order to solve the mysterious case and find the killer of Pedro Cuang, Patricia and Conde decide to follow an old Chinese saying that says that you have to follow the snake’s tail in order to reach its head. Prior to the involvement in the murder case’s investigation, Mario Conde was relaxing and enjoying his holidays. He did not like the idea of being disturbed in his holiday period, but agrees to help Patricia in solving the case as he finds her irresistible. Author Padura was highly appreciated for his efforts in coming up with such a remarkable mystery novel. The readers from all over the globe praised his style of writing. This helped the book to become to become a great success. Many critics highlighted the unique descriptions and depictions made by Leonardo Padura and lauded him for creating the unforgettable characters of Mario Conde and Patricia Chion. He gained a lot of motivation from such appreciation and went on to write many more intriguing mystery books in his writing career.

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