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Havana Twist

Havana Twist

An Earl Swagger Novel

Edgar-nominated author Lia Matera’s seventh Willa Jansson mystery is packed with “a riveting plot, realistic Havana settings, reawakened romance, and flavorful characters…a winner.” (Library Journal)

Attorney Willa Jansson’s mother has never balked at breaking the law, especially not for a good cause. So when Willa learns her mother has flouted federal regulations and gone off to Cuba, she figures it's just a harmless pilgrimage to lefty Graceland. But when her mother doesn’t return with the rest of her peacenik tour group, Willa fears her mother’s bleeding heart may finally have gotten her into more trouble than she can get herself out of.

But when Willa risks her career and passport by rushing to Cuba to retrace her mother’s steps, she finds that nothing there is quite as it seems. Following clues to neighborhoods tourists never see, through secret tunnels beneath the street, and into the finest luxury hotels, Willa is manipulated, misled, and nearly arrested. And in the meantime, newfound reporter friends—or are they CIA agents?—disappear as suddenly and inexplicably as her mother did. In a deadly game of cat and mouse, Willa follows her mother’s trail from Havana to Mexico City, from California back to Havana…all the while keeping barely one step ahead of two angry governments and at least one ruthless killer.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743242523 | 
  • April 2002
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

I often hear people complain about their mothers. But I'd celebrate if all my mother did was skewer me with advice and bore me with anecdotes. I think anyone who hasn't had to bail her mother out of jail cells full of demonstrators is lucky. Anyone who can guiltlessly utter a cynicism or consort with an occasional Republican is lucky. My mother once organized a petition drive to oust the man of my dreams from office. (Needless to say, that cooled the romance.) And she'd objected to every job I'd held since graduating from law school -- except the ones that didn't pay enough to live on. Even now that I'm a sole practitioner... see more

About the Author

Lia Matera
Photo Credit:

Lia Matera

Lia Matera is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law, where she was editor in chief of the Constitutional Law Quarterly. She was also a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School before becoming a full-time writer of legal mysteries. Prior Convictions and A Radical Departure were nominated for Edgar Allan Poe awards. The Good Fight and Where Lawyers Fear to Tread were nominated for Anthony and Macavity Awards. She has written nine novels, including the critically acclaimed Face Value. Matera lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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