Dec 26, 2011

Book Review: A Vine in the Blood by Leighton Gage

click on book title link for details
Title: A Vine in the Blood: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation by Leighton Gage
Publisher: Soho Crime (December 27, 2011
Genre: crime fiction
Objective rating: 4.5/5

Brazil has been in the center of international soccer news ever since they won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Questions have since abounded: would Brazil be able to pull it off, take care of thousands and thousands of visitors and athletes in various cities, ensure their safety and their comfort in this most picturesque but controversial of locations ?

What better setting for a crime novel that involves both soccer, a country with beautiful cities, and the criminal underworld? In this novel, the mother of the greatest soccer player is kidnapped just before the games begin, and there are any number of reasons this could have happened, and any number of possible suspects, especially during this time, just before the games. What is scary is that this fictional scenario could easily happen.  Chief Inspector Maria Silva is once again on the case, in this novel of international detective fiction.

Publisher's book description: "It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe’s premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. A victory for the home team is inextricably linked to the skills of the country’s principal striker, Tico “The Artist” Santos, the greatest player in the history of the sport. All the politicians in Brasilia, from the President of the Republic on down, have their seats squared-away for the finale, when they hope to see Argentina, Brazil’s bitterest rival, humbled by the Brazilian eleven. But then, just three weeks before the first game, Juraci Santos, Tico’s mother, is kidnapped. The star is distraught. The public is appalled. The politicians are outraged. And the pressure is on Chief Inspector Mario Silva to get her back.

Suspects aren’t lacking. Among them, are a cabal of Argentineans, suspected of having spirited the lady away to put Tico off his game, the star’s gold-digging, top-model girlfriend, whom his mother dislikes and has been trying to get out of his life, his principal rival, who wants to play in the World Cup in Tico’s place, and the man whose leg Tico broke during a match, thereby destroying his career. In the end, Silva and his crew discover that the solution to the mystery is less complex - but entirely unexpected." (book description)

About the author: Leighton Gage writes the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil. You can visit him at

A complimentary ARC of this book was sent to me for possible review.
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission.


  1. I have a friend who loves soccer, and would probably love this book as well! Thanks for the great review and the heads up on this one!

  2. This is a great review and sounds like a really good book.

  3. We know some people who live in Brazil and they say the crime there is pretty bad. This book sounds interesting. I hope your Christmas was great!

  4. I just finished a book that took place in Brazil. Maybe I'll return!

  5. I don't think I've read any books that take place in Brazil. This one sounds good.

  6. Carol, here in Belgium we read the Dutch version of Leighton Gage's books. There are already 3 translated: 'Blood of the wicked', 'Buried strangers' and 'Dying Gasp'.
    The 3 stories take place in Brazil.
    Now we are waiting for the translation of 'Every Bitter Thing'.
    I hope you will enjoy them all!

  7. It is great to see so many fine reviews of this book :)

    I have reviewed it today, and I have seen several other reviews.


I love getting comments and your thoughts...

Sunday Salon: Home, Fate, Drama, Learning Japanese

New ebooks:  How to Find your Way Home   by Katy Regan, February 15, 2022, Berkley   Emily and her older brother Stephen have been separated...