>The Spanish Female Detective: A Study of Petra Delicado….

>The Spanish Female Detective: A study of Petra Delicado and the evolution of a professional sleuth is a dissertation by Tracy Rutledge, M.A. that can be found in the following link:

I hope you will find it interesting.

Just notice that I’m repeating myself dangerously, it must be my age.

La mujer detective española: Un estudio de Petra Delicado y la evolución de una detective profesional es una tesis de Tracy Rutledge, MA que se pueden encontrar en el siguiente enlace:
http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/available/etd-10312006-210825/unrestricted/rutledge_tracy_dissfinal.pdf (en inglés)

Espero que lo encuentren interesante.

Acabo de darme cuenta de que me repito peligrosamente, debe de ser la edad.


Leonardo Padura Fuentes – Mario Conde

I’m having difficulties finding Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s novels, at least in Madrid bookshops, therefore I’m planning to change the order in which I’m going to read the North America leg of the 2010 Reading Challenge and start first with one of Leonardo Padura’s books featuring detective Mario Conde.

I’m taking for granted that I will upgrade myself to the expert level at a later stage. By the way I took this idea from Dorte’s list, and I thank you Dorte for that since I have not read any of Padura’s novels before. I found interesting to share with you the following information from Wikipedia:

Leonardo Padura Fuentes (born 1955) is a Cuban novelist and journalist. As of 2007, he is one of Cuba’s best known writers internationally. In English and some other languages, he is often referred to by the shorter form of his name, Leonardo Padura. He has written movie scripts, two books of short stories and a series of detective novels translated into 10 languages.

Padura is best known in the English-speaking world for his quartet of detective novels featuring lieutenant Mario Conde, Las cuatro estaciones (The four seasons). These have recently started to be published in English translation. Mario Conde is a cop who would rather be a writer, and admits to feelings of “solidarity with writers, crazy people, and drunkards”. The novels are:

Pasado perfecto (“Havana Blue“, 2007), 1991
Vientos de cuaresma (“Havana Yellow“, 2008)), 1994
Máscaras (“Havana Red“, 2005), 1997
Paisaje de otoño (“Havana Black“, 2006), 1998.

These books are set respectively in winter, spring, summer and autumn (Vientos de cuaresma literally means “Winds of Lent“, and Paisaje de otoño, Autumn landscape). Paisaje de otoño won the 1998 Premio Hammett of the Asociación Internacional de Escritores Policiacos (International Association of Crime Writers); this prize should not be confused with the similarly named Hammett Prize given by the North American branch of the organization, which is restricted to U.S. and Canadian authors.

Padura has published two subsequent books featuring Conde, the novella Adiós Hemingway (Padura’s first book to be translated into English, in 2005), and a recent novel La neblina del ayer (“Havana Fever”, 2009), 2002-2003.

The Havana-Cultura website comments on the similarities and differences between Padura and Hemingway and how they might explain his decision to feature the expatriate American in Adiós Hemingway.

Padura’s latest novel El hombre que amaba a los perros (The Man Who Loved Dogs) deals with the murder of Leon Trotsky and the man who assassinated him, Ramon Mercader. At almost 600 pages in length it is his most accomplished work and the result of more than five years of meticulous historical research. The novel, published in September 2009, attracted a lot of publicity mainly because of its political theme.

More information in
Tusquets Editores (In Spanish)
Mis detectives favoritos (In Spanish)

Ritos de muerte – Alicia Giménez Bartlett

Sobre Ritos de muerte he comentado antes:
Me ha encantado, considero que es muy entretenida. Tal vez el argumento de esta primera entrega resulta en cierta manera predecible, pero la pareja protagonista es soberbia, lo que hace que su lectura resulte muy interesante. Está bien escrita, con un gran sentido del humor y la creación de ambientes está muy bien desarrollada. Ciertamente es digna del tiempo que le dedique. Una lectura muy aconsejable. No les defraudará.

Death Rites (Original title: Ritos de muerte) – Alicia Giménez Bartlett

My first contribution to 2010 Global Reading Challenge

Giménez Bartlett, A. Ritos de muerte. Editorial Planeta. Barcelona 1996. This edition Booket 2009. 270 pages. ISBN: 978-84-08-07114-3.

Death Rites (1996) is the first book in the series featuring Inspector Petra Delicado and Sergeant Fermín Garzón. The story is narrated by Petra, a former attorney, who languishes in the Documentation Service Department of a Barcelona police station. She has been divorced twice and had just moved into a house with a garden in the outskirts of Barcelona to live alone. One day, probably because there is no other male inspector available, she must take over a rape case teaming up with Sergeant Fermín Garzón, a widower, close to retirement who has just arrived from Salamanca on a temporary assignment. It doesn’t seem to be a difficult case but there are very few clues, in fact the only one available is that the rapist has marked his victim leaving a scar that looks very much like a flower. The investigation gets more complicated and attracts some media coverage when three other young women are sexually assaulted and showed the same mark. Petra and Fermín will have to overcome journalists’ aggressiveness, victims’ apathy and parents’ outrage besides coping up with their own mood swings to solve this case.

Alicia Giménez Bartlett (Almansa, 1951) is the great dame of Spanish crime fiction. After studying at the University of Valencia she obtained a doctorate in Spanish Literature at the University of Barcelona, where she lives since 1975. She published her first novel, Exit, in 1984, followed by Una habitación ajena, for which she was granted the Lumen Award for Women in 1997. In 1996 Inspector Petra Delicado and Sergeant Fermin Garzón made their first appearance in Ritos de muerte (Death Rites). The rest of the series, in chronological order, has the following titles: Días de perros (Dog Day) (1997), Mensajeros de la oscuridad (1999), Muertos de papel (Prime Time Suspect) (2000), Serpientes en el paraíso (2002), Un barco cargado de arroz (2004) and El silencio de los claustros (2009).

I love this novel, it is quite entertaining. Maybe the plot of this first instalment is somehow predictable but the leading characters are superb which makes it a very interesting reading. Very well written with a nice sense of humour, the whole atmosphere is pretty well developed. Certainly it is worth your while and a highly recommended reading. You will not be disappointed.

Alicia Giménez Bartlett Official Website (in Spanish)

2010 Global Reading Challenge:

Following Dorte’s post these are, so far, my plans. They may change several times though:

Africa: A Carrion Death, Botswana, Michael Stanley (TBR)
Asia: The Gigolo Murder, Turkey, Mehmet Murat Sumar (TBR)
Australasia: Dead Point, Australia, Peter Temple (TBR)
Europe: Death Rites (Ritos de muerte), Spain, Alicia Giménez Bartlett (TBR)
North America: One of Héctor Belascoarán Shayne series, Mexico, Paco Ignacio Taibo II (TBO)
South America: Red April (Abril Rojo), Peru, Santiago Roncagliolo (TBR)