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Raquel V. Reyes Books In Order

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Publication Order of Caribbean Kitchen Mystery Books

Mango, Mambo, and Murder (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Barbacoa, Bomba, and Betrayal (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

In the Company of Women(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 15: Mystery Most Theatrical(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Midnight Hour(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Raquel V. Reyes is a bestselling cozy mystery fiction author that was brought up in oppositional cultures.

She was the daughter of a handsome and heavily accented Cuban father and her mother was a Southern redhead with a bright smile that could brighten any room.
Seeing her family’s troubles and joy mirrored in “I Love Lucy,” she developed a strong resilience in the face of the prejudice in the society that she loves in.

This lesson has come to influence all her works including her genre fiction, middle-grade stories, and poetry.

In her teenage years, she went to the University of New Mexico where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Theater Directing and Fine Arts.

Her passion for social justice has seen her get involved in social justice and charity events such as coordinating food banks and HIV awareness events. She is also a director of children’s plays and a co-chair of the Sleuthfest writing conference.

Her work has earned a runner-up gong at the Taylor Bland Sisters in Crime Fiction Writers of Color award.

She currently makes her home in Miami and is obsessed with finding Leviathan and mermaids in the Sea.

Reyes has always been a lover of storytelling ever since she was in high school. During this time, there was nothing that she loved better than short fiction and she can still remember Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

But her love for short stories can be traced to Cricket magazine in which she used to read all manner of multiple rich stories in addition to games and poetry.

Later on, she studied reading more serious stories and particularly loved the humor and ethos in the works of Tom Robbins. She was also a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut, even though she never corresponded with him as she did with Robbins.

After writing many plays, poems, and short stories that were published in a range of anthologies, she decided to shift to suspense and mystery novels.
Raquel V. Reyes has said that she decided on mystery fiction since she could not find anyone that looked like her represented in the works she used to read.
She is now dedicated to writing stories of cultural representation. She also writes to lift marginalized writes and maintains a blog where she reviews popular Latinx fiction and interviews crime writers of color.

Raquel V. Reyes’ upbringing had a very huge impact on her later career. She spent her early childhood years between Miami and northwest Georgia.
She still remembers how embarrassed she was when her grandmother took her to a store and the proprietor, who had plastered Klan posters all over his shop looked daggers at her.

Reyes also stopped speaking Spanish so as she would not be labeled a Marielito loosely translated as criminals let loose by the actions of Fidel Castro. As such, she was very much aware of her Spanish name and the color of her skin during her youth.

Raquel would thus gravitate towards crime and mystery fiction as she could find protagonists she identified with.

After reading and loving “The Seventh Sinner” at the library, the choice of writing cost mysteries was not surprising. She decided to write about what she loved to read and get to write about protagonists that looked like her.

She published “Mango, Mambo, and Cooking” in 2021.

As for Raquel V. Reyes’ proclivity toward writing about food, she has said that it perhaps has to do with living in Miami. In the city, she has access to all manner of cuisines from Latin America and the Caribbean.

She has also learned a lot from her stepmother Elena, who taught her how to cook many of the recipes in her novels. All of this was done without recipes as she watched and helped her prepare meals.

Having been born and brought up in Camaguey, making the best frita de pollo, black beans and fricase de pollo has become second nature, as she was taught everything by her mother.

However, she is not only good at Cuban cuisine but she is also good at making dishes from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica.

“Mango, Mambo, and Murder” by Raquel V. Reyes is a compelling cozy mystery that opens with Miriam Quinones-Smith the food anthropologist moving from New York to the suburban Coral Shores of Miami.

It is a traumatic move she never wanted to make as she also has to deal with the midlife crisis her husband is having and the toddler tantrums of her son.
But when she is at a Women’s Club luncheon, one of the socialites at her table collapse into the chicken salad and dies.

When another woman dies in yet more bizarre circumstances, Pullman the detective is informed that the socialite had died of a drug overdose from drugs supplied by Alma but he does not think Alma could be that callous.

The detective manages to pursuade Miriam to make use of her culinary skills and knowledge of Caribbean culture in the suburb to help track down the killer.
While her husband cavorts with Juliet his ex-girlfriend, Miriam is researching all manner of herbs and quizzing her neighbors. Even though she has so far been very successful, she might just be crafting the recipe for her own murder.

Raquel V. Reyes’ novel “Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking” is set in Coral Shores, Miami where the fall festivities have just begun.

Miriam Quinones-Smith gets up from a restful night’s sleep to go to work when she finds a dead body in her front yard. The corpse had been dumped by the fake tombstone in the compound.

Investigations indicate that she could be the same woman that had been ejected from the Fall Festival only a few days earlier.

Her luck only gets worse when her passive-aggressive mother-in-law insists that she will be in charge of the annual gala usually held by the Women’s Club.
Miriam wants to spice things up with a calypso band and Caribbean food trucks, which would add much-needed flavor and fun.

While they are working on the gala plans at the country club, they hear the club manager and new head chef arguing, and soon after the chef is found dead at the bottom of the staircase.

Could it be an accident or was the sous chef angry at being passed over, it could also have been the work of Anastasia his ex-girlfriend?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Raquel V. Reyes

One Response to “Raquel V. Reyes”

  1. Iris Kofsky: 3 months ago

    I truly enjoyed your first 2 books and began reading the latest in the series. Sadly, I put it aside after reading about a third of it. I do not speak Spanish and found the increasing use of it most distracting. It seems that you are targeting a particular group of readers. I love the characters and plots and feel so disappointed!


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