Havana Twist

Havana Twist

A WILLA JANSSON MYSTERY

Never before have the stakes been so high, or so personal, for "one of the most articulate and surely the wittiest of women sleuths at large in the genre" (The New York Times Book Review). As she investigates the mysterious disappearance of her own peacenik mother, Willa finds herself doing the Havana Twist.
Attorney Willa Jansson has finally managed to unload some of her sixties baggage, but her rebellious mother can't seem to mellow out. When Mom heads to Cuba with a band of graying "brigadistas" Willa figures it's just a pilgrimage to lefty Graceland. But then the rest of the group returns without her mother, and Willa fears the worst. Risking disbarment for "trading with the enemy" she rushes to the rescue -- and discovers that her mother may have finally gotten herself into more trouble then she can get herself out of.
In a deadly game of cat and mouse, Willa follows her mother's path from Havana to Mexico City, from California back to Havana, getting manipulated, misled, and nearly arrested along the way. Soon she finds two angry governments, at least one ruthless killer, and her old flame, homicide Lieutenant Surgelato, are hot on her trail. Racing against time, Willa realizes that, much more than politics and police work, it is intuition that will help her find her mother -- and those things that only a daughter knows.
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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
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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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