A new, gripping, and fast-paced mystery novel that exposes the depths of corruption in Canada's national capital and reintroduces some much-loved characters from the highly-acclaimed Inspector Ramirez series.

Cover of Shadow Play book depicting light rail train on tracks in an urban environment.

Inspector Ricardo Ramirez of Havana and Detective Charlie Pike of Ottawa investigate a string of women’s murders from Cuba to Canada in this gritty, compelling mystery by award-winning author Peggy Blair.

Cover of Hunry Ghosts book depicting light car stuck in a foggy forest while a person looks on.

This fast-paced, expertly crafted thriller sees Ricardo Ramirez join forces with Russian Intelligence officer, Slava Kadun, to stop an international assassination, in the fourth and final book of the highly acclaimed Inspector Ramirez series.

Cover of Umbrella Man

Reviews

Terrific cop characters Ricardo Ramirez and Charlie Pike — intrepid, quietly anti-authoritarian investigators relentlessly sleuthing in their isolated corners of the world—and locations in non-touristy Cuba and the impoverished Canadian Shield make for a cracking good read.

—Winnipeg Free Press

Blair’s thriller, Hungry Ghosts, never disappoints …This series, with its study of seemingly disparate cultures that actually have a lot in common, continues to be a delight. A charming and funny, but also poignant, series.

—Chronicle Herald

Blair is on sensitive ground here, but she’s well aware of what she’s doing …The seriousness of the crimes and Blair’s critical eye for the failings of the legal institutions of two different countries add a sombre tone to an exciting procedural.

—National Post

Blair’s plotting is meticulous, inventive and oh so well played … an excellent addition to a wonderful series. Absolutely recommended.

—A Bookworms World

Heavy on atmosphere and style, the two places Blair shines.

— Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

Blair grows more assured with each novel … she shapes all the elements in each of the three plots into coherent and related whodunits. As a bonus, Blair rewards readers with enlightenment about the perils of ordinary life both in Cuba and on Canadian [First Nation] reserves.

—Toronto Star

Top-notch mystery … A new level of sophistication. It is hard to write about a mystery because of the risk of giving too much away. Suffice to say, this is a book worth reading. And with the establishment of two strong central characters — Ramirez and Pike — Blair has the makings of two mystery series with some real staying power. Hungry Ghosts is one of the best mysteries to come out of Ottawa this or any year.

—Ottawa Citizen

Shadow Play is as current as it is unflinchingly accurate…. A lawyer for more than 30 years before she turned to writing, Blair penned four much-admired Inspector Ramirez books between 2010 and 2016 and they were set, principally, in Havana. Her new book vividly takes readers to the ByWard Market, Westboro and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, just for starters, while Rideau Regional Police Force Det. Jamie Wallace works to solve a particularly intriguing murder.

—Ottawa Citizen

Blair’s writing is intelligent, sharp and finely paced. Her stories are dark but dashed with hope: they concentrate on the human condition—as much for the dead as for the living—with great sensitivity and a well-timed sense of humor.

—Kirkus Reviews

Peggy Blair writes like an author possessed, with story-telling skills that make her a must-read writer beyond the mystery genre. … Blair can tell a story with the best that Canada has to offer.

—Hamilton Spectator

Crisply written, the characters in Umbrella Man are real … Blair enters the world of the thriller.

—Ottawa Citizen

Peggy Blair’s Inspector Ramirez series gets better with every book. An Ottawa lawyer, Blair has a real knack for using her Havana setting, with its eccentricities born of necessity, as both a charming backdrop and a real guide to plot lines.

—Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

Marvellously accomplished … Cuba is a small triumph of evocation. Blair manipulates the new characters in the book with the finesse of a card dealer dealing a hand from the bottom of the deck.

—Jack Batten, Toronto Star
Peggy Blair headshot

About the Author

Peggy Blair was a lawyer for more than thirty years and now works in real estate in Ottawa. A renovator, artist, and Level 5 boxer, she is perhaps best known for her #DearestMartha tweets during the Freedom Convoy. She lives in the country with a friendly cat and a TV-watching dog.