A Vine in the Blood: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation by Leighton Gage

A Vine in the BloodReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

When readers want to take a virtual trip to some other part of the world, an easy choice is to pick up one of the various series published by SOHO Crime. They have series literally set all over the world. One of this reviewer’s favorites is the Chief Inspector Silva series set in Brazil.

In A Vine in the Blood, World Cup Soccer serves as the back drop for the plot. Brazil is due to host the World Cup and fans anticipate a finals match between Brazil and arch rival Argentina. Brazil MUST win no matter what. What lengths will fans in this soccer rabid country go to in order to secure a victory? When the mother of the star for the home team is kidnapped, everyone assumes it was a plot to hamper Brazil’s chances in the upcoming match. But was it? There are certainly other people in the soccer star’s life as well as his mother’s life who might have a motive.

While the plots of the other books in the series were fairly unique to Brazil, this book could possibly take place in any locale with over-the-top avid fans of any sports team. In fact, a situation in Olympic figure skating came to mind more than once while reading this book. This took a bit off the book for me since much of the focus was on the sports community rather than uniquely Brazilian cultural issues. Still, author Gage takes readers in the Brazilian mob and offers us a look at the running of crime investigation in Brazil.

And if tampering with one of the most visible sporting events in the world and a trip through the Brazilian mob aren’t enough to peak your interest, how about a look at the raising of Carrier Pigeons? There just aren’t that many mysteries where Carrier Pigeons play a fairly large role in the plot. Credit goes to Gage for coming up with a quite a different, yet entirely plausible, plot angle.

Author’s notes at the end of the book give much more detailed information on World Cup Soccer for readers who would like to know more. Nothing additional was included on Carrier Pigeons unfortunately.

A Vine in the Blood is Gage’s fourth Chief Inspector Silva mystery set in Brazil. Each of the books is fairly self contained and can be enjoyed whether or not the reader has read the previous books.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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