Twenty-four year old Lissette Delgado was beaten, raped, and then strangled with a towel. Marijuana is found in her apartment and her wardrobe is suspiciously beyond the means of a high school teacher. Lieutenant Conde is pressured by the highest authority to conclude this investigation quickly when chance leads him into the arms of a beautiful redhead, a saxophone player who shares his love for jazz and Japanese fighting fish. This is a Havana of crumbling, grand buildings, secrets hidden behind faded doors and corruption. For an author living in Cuba, Padura is remarkably outspoken about the failings of Castro's regime. Yet this is a eulogy of Cuba, its life of music, sex and the great friendships of those who elected to stay and fight for survival.