The Ultimate Havana: A Willie Cuesta Mystery
Fiction by John Lantigua
Arte Público Press, March 2022
Willie Cuesta, former Miami Police detective turned private investigator, is struggling to pay the bills when he receives a call from an old family friend. Cesar Mendoza is the blind, elderly owner of Tabacos El Ciego, a cigar store in Little Havana. Cesar is worried about Victoria Espada, a friend from the old days in Cuba. As a young woman, she was so beautiful that cigar makers competed to put her image on their boxes. She came from a long line of tobacco growers and married a man from an old, respected clan of cigar makers. The couple, who represented one of the great cigar dynasties of all time, fled the island after the revolution, but things didn’t go well. Ernesto Espada ultimately committed suicide, leaving his widow with two young children to raise. Now, her son, a less-than-successful cigar salesman, has gone missing, and the detective is tasked with finding him.