Mambo Peligroso (Paperback)

By Patricia Chao

Harper Perennial, 9780060734183, 300pp.

Publication Date: May 2, 2006



When Catalina Ortiz Midori walks into a shabby New York dance studio for her first mambo class, she has no idea her life is about to change. A Japanese-Cuban immigrant who has lost touch with her Cuban roots, Catalina is mesmerized by the one-eyed teacher, El Tuerto, a titan of the New York mambo scene, and drawn to the dazzling technique of Wendy Cardoza, a Bronx mambera who is one of its reigning queens. Catalina's apprenticeship with them, and her growing obsession with the world of mambo -- the music, the dancers, the seductive dance itself -- will bring her back to her origins with a passion she didn't know she possessed, and inadvertently draw her into a sinister Miami exile scheme through her disreputable cousin Guillermo.

Praise For Mambo Peligroso

“This sensuous and sometimes violent tale is filled with sexy foot-stomping scenes—and an assassination plot to boot.”
-Good Housekeeping (Book Babe selection)

“An entertaining, sometimes intoxicating read. Like the passionate dancers she portrays, Chao writes with heart and soul.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“Compelling... Intense passion, energy, and sexuality... The pace accelerates and becomes relentless... Recommended for all collections.”
-Library Journal

“A floor-scorching spin...This high-voltage novel will have readers furiously flipping pages and tapping their toes.”
-Booklist (starred review)

“Chao induces the reader to feel the intensity of her characters’ pleasure in dancing . . . Deeply interesting.”
-Washington Post

“Highly talented . . . [Chao] cleverly steps up the narrative like an ever-increasing tempo.”
-Orlando Sentinel

“Fast-paced . . . always quite clever and often graceful .”
-San Antonio Express-News