Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

Cuban-born, Miami Beach–based Carolina Garcia-Aguilera is the author of ten books as well as a contributor to many anthologies, and she is perhaps best known for her Lupe Solano mystery series. 

Her books have been translated into twelve languages; One Hot Summer, her seventh novel, was made into a film for Lifetime Television. Ms. Garcia-Aguilera, who was a private investigator for twenty-five years, has been the recipient of many awards.

Find her on her website, or follow her on Twitter @garciaaguilera.

Bibliography

  • Standalone
    Magnolia
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Standalone
    Luck of the Draw
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Standalone
    One Hot Summer
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Bloody Waters (#1)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Bloody Shame (#2)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Bloody Secrets (#3)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    A Miracle in Paradise (#4)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Havana Heat (#5)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Bitter Sugar (#6)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
  • Lupe Solano Mysteries
    Bloody Twist (#7)
    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
     

Reviews

Standalone

Magnolia
"Garcia-Aguilera creates a lovably imperfect heroine in this Pretty Woman–type tale [...] readers will fall in love with Magnolia in this engaging tale of what unexpected choices can be made when one’s back is against the wall."

Publishers Weekly

"Magnolia is an enticing novel of romance and growing up. Very much recommended reading."

Midwest Book Review

"Magnolia is so sexy and sultry, it should be dripping sweat among other body fluids. Part romance, part sports Kama Sutra, part marvelous fun, this pay-to-play page turner of a beautiful woman's journey as a sports geisha is as caliente and entertaining as Miami itself."

Brian Antoni, author of SOUTH BEACH: THE NOVEL

Luck of the Draw
“Esmeralda’s adventure is as skillfully written and plotted as Garcia-Aguilera’s successful Lupe Solano mystery series, and Esmeralda is a feisty, entertaining narrator.”

Publishers Weekly

"An entertaining romp."

Booklist

One Hot Summer
“Garcia-Aguilera perfectly captures the conflicts of these cosseted Cuban-American women. Her tongue-in-cheek humor enlivens the situations she describes with intimate familiarity [in] this zesty tale [...] Aguilera’s Miami sleuth, Lupe Solano (HAVANA HEAT and BITTER SUGAR), has won her the Flamingo and Shamus Awards. By sticking to a world she knows well, the author has produced another crowd pleaser.”

Publishers Weekly

"Tropical politics, culture and identity [...] are at the center of ONE HOT SUMMER [...] Garcia Aguilera creates human characters we can empathize with."

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

“This frisky Cuban-flavored story about a married woman who has an affair with her former law school boyfriend goes beyond the classic story of adultery […] [Carolina Garcia-Aguilera’s] experience as the writer of the successful Miami-based Lupe Solano detective novels has give her an edge when it comes to writing a gripping story.”

USA Today

Lupe Solano Mysteries

Bloody Waters (#1)
“Immediately engaging, written in a witty, straightforward style spiced by Lupe’s wry observations on Cuban-American family life.”

Miami Herald

“A talent worth watching.”

Kirkus

“Lupe and her eccentric family (a bodybuilding cousin; a dad who keeps a boat provisioned for the day when Castro falls; a sister who’s a nun) have a charm that bodes well for future outings.”

Publishers Weekly

“Fast—paced and brimming with energy, Garcia-Aguilera’s work are energized by cultural fetishes inherent in Latinos.”

Hispanic Magazine

Bloody Shame (#2)
”A free-spirited heroine, some wry humor, and an insider’s look at an unfamiliar milieu are pluses here.”

Kirkus

“[Garcia-Aguilera] weaves in the nuances of the Hispanic community with finesse.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

“BLOODY SHAME is a deliberate and meticulously constructed mystery. [Garcia-Aguilera's] lead character, Lupe Solano is sassy and smart, an extremely likeable heroine.”

Boulder Planet

Bloody Secrets (#3)
“With sharp-edged characters and some profound probing of moral ambiguities, the latest Lupe Solano tale is suspenseful, provocative and satisfying.”

Publishers Weekly

“The third Lupe Solano novel continues to have the freshness that made its two predecessors remarkably insightful and compelling novel.”

Harriet Klausner

A Miracle in Paradise (#4)
“A memorable tale of Cuban-American life, this novel boasts an engaging plot and a fiery heroine armed with sharp insights into Cuban and Catholic ways that will lead readers happily into the sultry heat of Little Havana.”

Publishers Weekly

“Lupe Solano is intelligent, witty, and eloquenty hard—boiled. The realistic Miami description radiate heat from the page.

Booklist

“Gritty and witty [...] a fascinating look at Cuban-American culture and beliefs. Garcia-Aguilera has crafted realistic and intriguing characters into a plot that never bogs down.”

San Francisco Examiner

“Solano just happens to be one of the freshest protagonists to come along in the last few years […] Garcia-Aguilera has built an interesting support team around her and Miami continues to be a terrific place to stage mayhem.”

Chicago Tribune

Havana Heat (#5)
“Lupe Solano has blossomed into one of the genre’s most formidable protagonists.”

Chicago Tribune

“Lupe Solano is an enjoyably hedonistic sleuth, and Garcia-Aguilera’s chatty, congenial style will beguile readers for several pleasing hours.”

Publishers Weekly

“A stunning mixture of art history, Cuban-in-exile politics, a uniquely classy Miami heroine, and riveting plot make this highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“These and other art-related intrigues converge, making HAVANA HEAT the most ambitious–and most successful–of Garcia-Aguilera’s novels. She leaves you with the sensation that things are just going to get better where she and Lupe are concerned.”

The South Florida Herald

Bitter Sugar (#6)
“After five books in a distinctive series set in Miami, the private eye Lupe Solano has developed a snappy style and a healthy self-confidence in her professional skills. But Carolina Garcia-Aguilera’s buoyant Cuban-American heroine has yet to win her austere father’s approval, and BITTER SUGAR gives her her big chance. Along with other exiles who lost their property when they fled Cuba, a friend of Lupe’s father has gotten a curious offer for sugar mills he hasn’t seen in 40 years. The buyout offers make no more sense than the deaths that accompany them, and Lupe’s researches into the state into the state of the sugar business in Cuba heighten her suspicions. Although the criminal scheme is obvious, the “deep and lingering sense of loss” it awakens in old men with long memories gives poignancy to the investigation and shows Lupe in her best light. For all the joy she takes in her independent life, Lupe has passionate connections to her family, her community and her history that make all her cases personal.”

The New York Times

“When he seized power in 1959, Fidel Castro nationalized virtually all Cuban industries, including the five sugar refineries that had been in Ramón Suarez‘s family for generations. Now, shortly after Ramón’s shiftless nephew has been approached by a Spanish combine offering to purchase two of the refineries— the two that are standing idle— for $3.5 million, some ten cents on the dollars of their evaluated worth, Alexander has disappeared. Incensed at the suggestion that he renounce his claim to the refineries, Ramón wants Cuban-American p.i. Lupe Solano, his best friend’s daughter, to find out what’s going on. Lupe is even more interested in the question of why anybody would pay for clear title to proprieties that were nationalized 40 years ago. Before she can make headway on either of these mysteries, though, Alexander is murdered in the Ecstasy Hotel, and the Miami cops arrest Ramón for his murder. It’s only the first of the killings that’ll have Lupe—one hand on the religious medals pinned to her bra, the other on the Beretta in her Chanel bag— jumping from her boyfriend, immigration attorney Alvaro Mendoza, to her sometimes lover, criminal attorney Tommy MacDonald.

Kirkus

“Surprises abound in Lupe Solano’s sixth foray (after 2000’s HAVANA HEAT) into the seamier side of Miami’s Cuban émigré community […] Garcia-Aguilera saves her best surprise until last, leaving fans wanting more.”

Publishers Weekly

“Cuban American private detective Lupe Solano attempts to help a friend of her father after he receives disturbing news. Foreigners interested in buying his confiscated sugar plantations in Cuba want him and his nephew to relinquish all claims. Lup’s involvement escalates when someone subsequently kills the nephew. Strongly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Carolina Garcia-Aguilera’s sixth tale featuring the appealing Lupe, BITTER SUGAR, benefits from her knowledge of Miami’s Cuban community as well as her own experience as private investigator.”

Orlando Sentinel

“This is Garcia-Augilera at her best. A former private investigator, she is expert at using Lupe’s questions, hunches and dogged pursuit of the case to keep the mystery unfolding and the plot driving forward.

Miami Herald

“Miami author Carolina Garcia-Aguilera continues her unique perspective on South Florida’s Cuban exile community in BITTER SUGAR, her sixth novel […] In exploring the particulars of the exile community, the author especially makes BITTER SUGAR a near valentine to Miami.

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Bloody Twist (#7)
“The narrative style in BLOODY TWIST is light and breezy, and appropriate to the characters and setting.”

Mysterious Reviews

Awards & Accolades

Standalone

Lupe Solano Mysteries

A Miracle in Paradise (#4)
USA

Winner Flamingo Award: 1999 “Best Mystery Novel Set in Florida”

Havana Heat (#5)
USA

Winner Shamus Award: 2000 “Best Private Eye Novel”