Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Barcelona detective Pepe Carvalho’s radical past catches up with him when a powerful businessman—a patron of artists and activists—is found dead after going missing for a year.
In search of the spirit of Paul Gauguin, Stuart Pedrell—eccentric Barcelona businessman, construction magnate, dreamer, and patron of poets and painters—disappeared not long after announcing plans to travel to the South Pacific.
A year later he is found stabbed to death at a construction site in Barcelona. Gourmand gumshoe Pepe Carvalho is hired by Pedrell’s wife to find out what happened. Carvalho, a jaded former communist, must travel through circles of the old anti-Franco left wing on the trail of the killer. But with little appetite for politics, Carvalho also leads us on a tour through literature, cuisine, and the criminal underbelly of Barcelona in a typically brilliant twist on the genre by a Spanish master.
Poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (1939–2003) was one of modern Spain’s greatest writers. A politically active leftist as a young man, he was jailed under Franco for four years for supporting a miners’ strike. As an adult, he also became a gourmand, and wrote often about food. His Pepe Carvalho series—set in Montalbán’s native Barcelona—has won international acclaim, including the Planeta prize (1979) and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1981).
Patrick Camiller has also translated Che Guevara’s African diaries.
"The English-speaking world appears to be playing catch-up, a matter that will be rectified with Melville House’s reissue of five of the best adventures." —The Daily Beast
“The most original detective to come along in an age and the mix of political intrigue, Barcelona style, and Catalan cooking tips, makes for a great read.”
“Pepe Carvalho is a phlegmatic investigator. His greatest concern is with his stomach, but when not pursuing delicacies, he can unravel the most tangled of mysteries.”
“Montalbán writes with authority and compassion—a Le Carré-like sorrow.”