Review by: D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77)
Are you looking for a fun read for this Summer of the Corona Virus Pandemic? Then the latest historical novel by David Edmonds may be for you. Modern day Flamenco dancer Amy Romano drives her Prius into a huge southern Florida sink hole and emerges in 1932. Like Alice going down the rabbit hole, Amy emerges in a whole different world. Except in her case it is the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa during the Great Depression, complete with moonshine, mobsters and G-men!
Flamenco in the Time of Moonshine and Mobsters is 375 pages yet is a surprisingly quick read due to the short chapters, filled with action, 99 of them. I found myself finishing a chapter only to look ahead and see that the next chapter was just 3-4 pages, and decide I had time for one more chapter!
It turns out that Amy is a dead ringer for her great grandmother Carmen, a well-known Flamenco dancer in the Ybor City of the 1930s. Mobsters are after Carmen because they believed they had already killed her, and her return is some kind of Gypsy magic. The FBI wants Carmen as an accessory in the murder of one of their agents. The action never stops as Amy attempts to escape both groups, while also falling for a mysterious moonshine-transporting Cajun pilot.
David Edmonds is an experienced writer with twelve books to his credit. His prose is very readable and holds your interest with lively dialogue and colorful, descriptive language. The sprinkling of Spanish words and phrases in the dialogue was enjoyable to me as a former Central American PCV, but not everybody “habla español!”
I’m confident most readers will either figure out the Spanish or make use of an online Spanish-English dictionary. By the way, I’m pretty sure “nadia” is not a Spanish word. I believe “nadie” is what the author intended!
D.W. Jefferson was a Peace Corps agriculture Vvolunteer in El Salvador (1974-76) and Costa Rica (1976-77). A blog about his Peace Corps years is at: dwjefferson.blogspot.com He is currently retired from a career in computer software engineering.