Leonardo Padura biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Leonardo Padura.

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Leonardo Padura

Leonardo Padura

Leonardo Padura Biography

Leonardo Padura was born in 1955 in Havana and lives in Cuba. He has published a number of short-story collections and literary essays but international fame came with the Havana Quartet, all featuring Inspector Mario Conde.

Like many others of his generation, Padura had faced the question of leaving Cuba, particularly in the late 80s and early 90s, when living conditions deteriorated sharply as Russian aid evaporated. He chose to stay. And to write beautiful ironic novels in which Soviet-style socialism is condemned by implication through scenes of Havana life where even the police are savagely policed.

The crime novels feed on the noises and smells of Havana, on the ability of its inhabitants to keep joking, to make love and music, to drink rum, and to survive through petty crime such as running clandestine bars and restaurants.

The Inspector Mario Conde Series to Date

  • Pasado perfecto (1991). Havana Blue (2007)
  • Vientos de cuaresma (1994). Havana Gold (2008)
  • Mascaras (1997). Havana Red (2005)
  • Paisaje de otoño (1998). Havana Black (2006)
  • La Neblina de Ayer. Havana Fever (2009)
  • Adiós Hemingway (2005, novella); published with same title in English in 2006 - the first of his books to be translated into English.
  • La cola de la serpiente (not yet available in English)

The Inspector Mario Conde books are translated from Spanish into English by Peter Bush, well known for his extensive work on Juan Goytisolo. He has also completed translations of Daniel Chavarria, Nuria Amat and Pedro de Alarcón.

This biography was last updated on 12/04/2013.

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Havana Fever
Havana Fever

by Leonardo Padura

Mario Conde, retired from the police force, now makes a living trading antique books. In a book, Conde discovers a newspaper article about a beautiful bolero singer of the 1950’s, who disappeared mysteriously. Conde’s intuition sets him off on an investigation into the murder.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Leonardo Padura but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Roberto Ampuero

    Roberto Ampuero

    Roberto Ampuero is an internationally bestselling, award-winning author. He has published eleven novels in Spanish and his works have been translated around the world. The Neruda Case is his first novel published in English. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Havana Fever

    Try:
    The Neruda Case
    by Roberto Ampuero

  • Benjamin Black

    Benjamin Black

    Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Havana Fever

    Try:
    Christine Falls
    by Benjamin Black

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