Luck of the Draw: A Novel

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9780060536343: Luck of the Draw: A Novel

Gambling runs through the blood of the Navarro family. And like the luck needed to score big, the Navarro clan will certainly need a lot of it, if they're going to hold themselves together through a hilariously highstakes game of family history and secrets.

Having heard her entire life of the lost glory of La Estrella -- "The Star," the name of the casino the Navarro family owned in Havana before Castro took power -- Esmeralda thinks it a joke when her mother informs her and her siblings Sapphire, Ruby, and Quartz that the family has a duty to bring La Estrella back into existence.

With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life.

Esmeralda, the eldest and most sensible of the Navarro clan, is dispatched to Las Vegas, and to an underworld that this Miami mother of three thought she would never be suited for. Surprisingly, Esmeralda is not only suited for it, she thrives in it.

From seedy bar to casino to back alley, Esmeralda sleuths her way through Las Vegas with sexy style -- and into a mystery that is much larger than she, her family, and her family's history had ever bargained for.

With a lightning-paced narrative and the author's trademark sense of glamour and tongue-in-cheek humor, Luck of the Draw will keep you laughing, and in suspense, until the very last page.

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About the Author:

Cuban-born Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, was a private investigator for more than a decade before becoming a full-time writer. Her previous books include Bloody Waters, Bloody Shame, Bloody Secrets, A Miracle in Paradise, Havana Heat and Bitter Sugar -- all widely acclaimed mysteries in the Lupe Solano series. She has been honored with the Flamingo Award and the Shamus Award for her books.

From Publishers Weekly:

Garcia-Aguilera (One Hot Summer) sends her Miami heroine off on a wild Las Vegas adventure in her latest, an engaging thriller/mystery that succeeds despite an abrupt and underdeveloped ending. Esmeralda Navarro, a married, 30ish interior designer, is called to a family meeting by her mother, who announces her plans to try to recover the casino she and her husband owned and ran in Havana before Castro took over Cuba. But the plan has to wait until the family can find Esmeralda's free-spirited sister, Diamond, who doesn't seem to be at her Las Vegas newspaper office or her apartment. Esmeralda temporarily ditches her family and her troubled marriage to go to Las Vegas to find her missing sister. Fearing the worst, she arrives in Sin City with no plan, but fortunately her limo driver, the attractive, middle-aged Dennis O'Shea, turns out to be a retired NYPD homicide detective who helps her engineer a private investigation. After plenty of twists and turns, the clues point to a new casino called the Star, where Diamond took a job as a waitress before her disappearance. Esmeralda decides to pose as a high roller to try to track her down. The passages in which Navarro locates the mobster who may have kidnapped her sister feel more like a rushed explanation than a dramatic conclusion. But apart from this flaw, Esmeralda's adventure is as skillfully written and plotted as Garcia-Aguilera's successful Lupe Solano mystery series, and Esmeralda is a feisty, entertaining narrator.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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