The Poisoned Pawn Review

The Poisoned Pawn Review
Detective Mike Ellis, a Canadian policeman who returned home after he was cleared in the death of a young boy while on vacation in Cuba, discovered that his estranged wife, Hilary, was dead, and that he was the main suspect.

Meanwhile, Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Havana Major Crimes Unit, was dispatched to Ottawa to take custody of a Cuban priest apprehended by authorities while in possession of a laptop full of improper photographs. The pictures included a number of young Cuban boys.

While he was in Canada, Ramirez found out women were mysteriously dropping dead in Havana, one or two well-known to the detective, and he was unable to help his good friend pathologist Hector Apiro in the investigation until he could get back to Cuba. Detective Fernando Espinoza, newly promoted to the Havana Major Crimes Unit also played an instrumental role in the investigations under the direction of Ramirez.

The investigations took on an international importance as Ramirez uncovered a web of deceit and depravity that extended from the corridors of power in Ottawa to the halls of the Vatican, and back again.

A rather humorous, or at least intriguing side note, was the ghost of an elderly woman who made her presence know the Ramirez several times while he was in Havana. Her attempts to communicate with the investigator was at first ignored, but it didn’t take Ramirez long to realize she was trying to give him information he could use.

The Poisoned Pawn is the second novel in the Inspector Ramirez series written by Peggy Blair, following The Beggar’s Opera. One review said this story picked up where the first book left off, providing a welcomed continuity not seen in many series.

The authors’ attention to detail enhances the story providing a level of reality that will keep readers engaged. Strong characterization and sense of place in both Havana and Ontario add to the flavor of the story. Havana especially comes to life with detailed descriptions of the culture, customs, and colorful artwork and clothing.

Ramirez realized his own reality when he reached Ontario, Canada and found it was 50 degrees colder in the northern country. He was also intrigued by the lack of security, including no machine guns, or sniffing dogs like they had in Havana.

A special thank you goes to Amazon Vine for providing a complimentary copy of The Poisoned Pawn for our review. If you are interested in Peggy Blair’s books, they are available on

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Shadow Cay Review
South Beach Shakedown Review

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