Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Before Spain, Let's Go to Portugal; Here's Why

My new book, a cozy mystery,
set in Braga, Portugal. 
My new book, a cozy mystery, set in Braga, Portugal, was released Thanksgiving Day (while I was busy cooking). If you click on the link, you can go check it out HERE.

This book is near and dear to my heart. I got the idea for it before I ever went to Braga. I just liked the idea of setting a mystery in Portugal, and that was the closest city to our area in Spain (Galicia). I felt I could go to Braga and do first-hand research.

When we actually went to Braga, we met wonderful people who became our friends, and now every time we go to Galicia, we take a few days in Braga for further research — and to see our friends.

What is Deadly Vintage about?

Carla Bass, an interior designer has accompanied her husband, Owen, while he oversees a hotel remodel for his employer's new chain. They rent an apartment in the historical part of Braga, where most of the story takes place. (As you can see from pictures below, it's a picturesque and charming area.) When a wine seller gives Carla a mysterious bottle of Port by mistake (she thinks) she returns to his shop to give it back to him and finds him dead. The last to see him alive, she's now a suspect.

Here are a few scenes from Carla's Braga:
This is Carla's favorite bookstore:
Centésima Página ("Hundredth Page"
in English. See the "100" on the glass?)
Carla and Owen often eat lunch there,
as there is a food bar and small tables
 inside toward the back.
The lobby of the same building.
That's a cardboard cut-out of the
poet Pessoa lurking by the lamp.
And Carla often sees this woman
playing her violin on the streets
near the music college.

This  fountain, a defining landmark
of the historic Praça da República, has
colored lights playing on the jets each
 evening. The arcade is to the left, and
a MacDonald's that you can't see is
to the right. The corner building is the
National Bank. The red building is the
hotel Owen's employer is remodeling. 
Detective Fernandes is
investigating the finances
of someone (can't say who)
at the National Bank, and . . ..

Cafe Vianna has a long literary and
political history in Braga, although
now it is simply a favorite cafe/eatery
and is always busy. Carla and Owen
hang out here a lot, after hours. 
The last scene in the book
takes place here, as a matter
of fact. But first, there's a
mystery to solve . . ..

Carla has to talk to Maria about . . ., well, you'll find out. But Maria chooses the Jardim de Santa Barbara (Garden of Santa Barbara) for their discussion. 

A nice place to relax and talk
honestly, don't you think?
Well . . . it should be
And then there's the matter of Maria's boyfriend. This time Carla chooses the place to talk — the Museu Imagem (the Image Museum). You go right through the Arco da Porta Nova, then the museum is on your right, after a souvenir store. 
The Arco da Porta Nova (Arch
of the New Gate), designed by
André Soares, an architect of
Northern Portugal, famous for
his Baroque design.

The Museu Imagem: the modest-looking red building. It's a 
free museum, specializing in wonderful photography exhibits. 
If you go through the arch and turn left, on a corner a street away (not in the picture) is the house where Carla attends an estate auction and ruffles someone's feathers.
Before the auction, She and Owen dine at their favorite restaurant: Taberna do Félix (sometimes called Félix Taberna), and catch up on their news of the day. 

A romantic place, if your conversation isn't about dead bodies.
The next day, unexpectedly she has coffee with someone at A Brasileira (The Brazilian Woman) and the mystery deepens.

A Brasileira originally started in Lisbon (or
Lisboa), but it has a rich political history in
Braga. Its logo boasts that the best coffee is
that of the Brazilian Woman.

And the logo is printed on cups, napkins, even sugar packets!

I hope you've enjoyed this little taste of Portugal and the teasers that went with it as much as I enjoyed sharing them.  Your comments are always welcome.  Meanwhile, check out the book if you like cozies, HERE and have a great day. 


Elephant's Child said...

Huge congratulations.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You are quite the tease, Elizabeth. The idea of showing real photos from Braga enhances the appeal, too.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your new book. Your setting sounds so awesome, and I loved that we can see all the interesting places in your story.

Kate Larkindale said...

What a beautiful place! No wonder you chose to set a book there!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, EC. I'm very happy about this book.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Elizabeth, it was so much fun to do. I have tons of other pictures of Braga for more posts later on. I'm glad you liked the idea.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Natalie, I'm glad that clicked with you. I think for anyone who reads the book it will be fun to go see the places. It was great fun to write — the book and the post! Have a great day.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Kate, yes, Braga really is a beautiful city, especially the historic area. We just love it. And . . . I'm working on Book Two, now, with lots more pictures! Have a great day.

Suzanne Furness said...

Sounds like a wonderful place and how great that you get to research first hand there. Congratulations on the new book, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Suzanne. It really is a wonderfull place! It's nice to share it with others. I know I often travel places through other people's posts and pictures. Have a great day.

Mirka Breen said...

Congratulations and gratitude for the beautiful shared photos. Deadly Vintage is ominous sounding....

DMS said...

Congrats on your release! It sounds like an exciting read. I especially loved getting to see some of the places/scenes from the story. Looks like a beautiful area. I would love to visit Portugal. Thanks for sharing. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Mirka, loved your comment! Ominous is the word. Carla's life will be in danger before the book is over. Thanks for stopping by.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

DMS, from your comments, I think you would really like visiting Portugal. The people are just wonderful. So warm and friendly. We've made some friends for life from our visits to Braga. I'm glad you liked the scenes.

Geo. said...

Obrigado Senhora! Your photos are beautiful and your mystery intriguing. I rather like the name, Owen, too.

Kenda Turner said...

Once again, Congratulations! Deadly Vintage sounds intriguing and to think that you were actually in all those places that are featured in the book. It looks like an amazing place. It must have been a lot of fun to write this one :-)

Rosi said...

Congrats, Mitty. I loved reading the in-progress manuscript. The photos are great.

Karen Baldwin said...

LOve the photos. And a clever way to introduce your book. Congratulations on its release.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Em, thanks for the good wishes. It really was a fun way to introduce the book, although it was hard to sort through which photos to use, I have so many. Glad you liked these.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Rosi, I feel blessed to belong to such a good group of critiquers. Loved all the helpful comments along the way. Glad you liked the photos, too!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Kenda, it really was fun. And it opened a world to me. That's one thing I love about writing — the expanded world you can enter. We've made so many good friends in Braga, which was a bonus we didn't expect. Now they are part of our world. I'm glad you liked the pictures.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, there, Geo. Ha-ha, I know why you like the name Owen. Believe it or not, my Owen was Owen before Thomas & Dana's Owen was. Glad you like the pictures and find the story interesting. Have a great day!

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats! It sounds very intriguing, Elizabeth. And I loved your presentation. I just ordered my copy:) Its now in queue to be read:)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Sandra. Hey, thanks for ordering a copy! I'm glad you liked the presentation. Like the book, it was so much fun to write. Have a great day.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congratulations Mitty, both the title Deadly Vintage and the cover are wonderful. Good luck with your book. Loving the pictures :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and Rajan in advance.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Rachna, I'm glad you like the cover and the title. And the pictures! Thanks for the good wishes. We just got back from a 9-day drip on the east coast to visit relatives, so I have been away from my blog. Best holiday wishes to you, too.