|My new book, a cozy mystery,|
|set in Braga, Portugal.|
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.
|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.