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Carolina Garcia-Aguilera Books In Order

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Publication Order of Lupe Solano Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Anthologies

Mystery Street(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Florida Heat Wave(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Night, Deadly Night(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miami Noir(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Edgar & Shamus Go Golden(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera is a Cuban-born American author of mystery and thriller books. She has written standalone novels, mystery series, short stories and contributed to several anthologies. Caroline moved to the United States at the age of 10 and attended Miss Porter Preparatory School in Farmington, Connecticut. She later went to Rollins College in Winter Park and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. Carolina has a Master’s in Language and Linguistics, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Latin American Affairs. In 1986, she became a private investigator with the goal of authoring a book series writing a private investigator based in Miami. She published Bloody Waters, the debut novel in the Lupe Solano series, in 1996. The series contains six novels. Havana Heat, the fifth book in the series, won the Shamus Award for Best P.I. Hard Cover Novel in 2001.

Carolina’s standalone novel, One Hot Summer, was adapted for the big screen in 2009. In her 2003 novel, In Luck of the Draw, we see the Navarro family’s revered matriarch make a meaningful choice. She resolves that the time has come for the family to reunite and resurrect the ancestral family casino, “La Estrella,” which once thrived in Havana, in the vibrant city of Miami.

However, the family’s joyous reunion takes a sad turn when they learn of the disappearance of Diamond Navarro, a journalist residing in Las Vegas. Faced with this distressing news, The Matriarch issues a solemn directive to Esmeralda Navarro, the eldest among her five daughters. Esmeralda is tasked with traveling to Las Vegas to embark on a quest to locate Diamond and ensure her safe return to the fold of the Navarro family.

Blood Waters is the first book in the Lupe Solano series. We meet PI Lupe on the quest to locate the birth mother of an illegally adopted baby. The search takes a dangerous turn when it leads to murder. As she navigates this intricate case, Lupe must unearth the truth before time runs out.
Lupe Solano, grew up amidst the opulence of Miami, a stark contrast to her two sisters; one a nun and the other a divorced mother of two. Lupe’s unconventional career choice as a private investigator sets her apart from her family, a decision possibly influenced by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, who is herself a private investigator. This personal connection lends a unique authenticity to the story, offering a captivating narrative filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Hired by a wealthy Miami couple, Lupe’s mission is to find the birth mother of an illegally adopted child in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Initially, the case appears straightforward. Locate the doctor who delivered the child and locate the mother. However, the investigation takes an increasingly bizarre turn, eventually forcing Lupe into hiding in a foreign country and resorting to unconventional tactics, like using her bra as a makeshift restraint.

Lupe Solano is a charismatic and resourceful detective, endearing readers with her determined attitude and quick wit. The supporting characters the author includes add depth and intrigue to the story. From Lupe’s musclebound assistant running a gym out of their office to a resilient boatwoman and a collection of boyfriends, she taps in for favors and information.

What sets this mystery apart is not just its technical accuracy, rooted in the author’s own experiences as a Miami-based private investigator, but also the vibrant personality and unique philosophy of its lead character. Lupe Solano is a compelling heroine, embodying a blend of intelligence, allure, and cultural richness. As a self-proclaimed Cuban-American Princess (CAP), she hails from a privileged Coconut Grove family. Still, she has discovered her true calling as a PI, even when it means delving into Miami’s darker corners. Through Lupe, readers gain insight into the intricate tapestry of the Cuban-American community, exploring the strong family bonds and cultural ties that define her identity. Her unwavering connection to Cuba, despite being American-born, reflects the longing shared by many in her community for a post-Castro future.

The real strength of the book lies in the diversity of the characters. Lupe’s extensive network introduces a web of complex relationships, while the narrative weaves in cultural nuances that offer an enlightening glimpse into the Cuban-American experience in Florida. As the mystery unfolds, readers are treated to a story that not only entertains but also educates about a world rich in history and tradition.

Bloody Shame, the second book in the Lupe Solano series, maintains the same level of tension and intrigue. Lupe finds herself embroiled in a murder case linked to her boyfriend, the prominent defense attorney Tommy McDonald. At the same time, she’s trying to fathom why her closest friend appears disheartened. Nonetheless, Lupe is resolute about heading south to Key West for a long-awaited vacation.

Her plans are abruptly derailed when her friend is tragically murdered shortly after hinting on the phone about crucial information concerning McDonald’s case. As the story unfolds, several more lives are lost, all due to a botched cover-up.

Lupe is the story’s narrator, and her distinctive voice is a delightful companion throughout. The book exudes authenticity, partly owing to the author’s firsthand experience as a PI and partly due to its solid grounding in Miami’s iconic landmarks, such as Coral Gables City Hall. The influx of Cuban rafters into South Florida and the legal protection afforded to rental cars play significant roles in the plot’s development.

Despite her affluence, Lupe relishes the intellectual challenges of unearthing the truth in cases that might seem beneath her social standing. Notably proficient in her chosen profession, Lupe combines her sharp investigative skills with her striking Latina charm, occasionally employing her feminine allure to distract or persuade. The characters in the book are well-rounded, and the intricate plotlines keep readers engrossed.

Set in the vibrant backdrop of Miami and Coral Gables, the narrative provides valuable insights into the expatriate Cuban community and family life. Nearly every character introduced in the story hails from various Latin American countries, including Cubans, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and more. While this may initially appear conspicuous, it mirrors the diverse Hispanic society of Little Havana,where shared language, cuisine, religion, and customs foster a sense of homogeneity among its residents.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

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