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By Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

Avon Books, (October, 1999 ) Hardcover, 288 pages. $23.00 ISBN 0-380-97779-6

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick

The fourth Lupe Solano mystery, MIRACLE IN PARADISE, is a pina colada coated lesson in the Catholic religion and Cuban politics.

Born to parents who were in the in the first wave of Cubans to flee Castro, Lupe and her three sisters grew up in a life of privilege in Miami provided her father's hard work and business acumen.

Not wanting to follow an acceptable path for a nice Cuban girl, either marriage and children, or the church, Lupe set up shop as a private investigator. She works hard to justify her father's initial investment, stooping to domestic relations cases when cash flow dries up.

A plea from Lupe's sister Lourdes, a nun (who has a charge account at Victoria's Secret), to investigate an upcoming miracle being advertised by a rival convent starts the action rolling.

Reluctant to have anything to do with Lourdes' Mother Superior, Lupe relents when she learns that the miracle has to do with the miracle that all Miami Cubans have been praying for-- that their beloved island be freed of Fidel Castro.

Though frothy in tone, A MIRACLE IN PARADISE is a solid, well-written story. There are enough bodies and a plot odd enough to be real, given the bizarre nature of many of today's headlines.

Other titles in this series include: BLOOY SECRETS, BLOODY SHAME, and BLOODY WATERS.

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