The Mysterious Bookshop

Montalbán, Manuel Vázquez - Murder in the Central Committee

At a meeting of the central committee of Spain's Communist Party, in a room both locked and guarded, general secretary Fernando Garrido is stabbed to death. But the Party refuses to believe it was an inside job.

They turn to former member Pepe Carvalho. But he’s soon out of his depth in unfamiliar Madrid, where he spends nearly as much time investigating the chorizo, lamb-kidneys, and tripe, and the uninspiring selection of wine on offer, as he does murder.

With time out for his signature book burning (Engels’s The Housing Question), cooking (shellfish risotto), and an ill-advised bajativo (cognac, crème de menthe) inspired romp with Gladys, Pepe Carvalho leads a wry and cynical tour through the labyrinth of post-Fascist Spanish politics amid violent jostling for power.