An actress by trade, the fiery Catarina Velosi needed intensity and drama in her personal life as well. Noted Los Angeles playwright Alfonso Reventon wrote a play about her, for her, to propel Catarina to the stardom she so desperately craved. But on opening night, Catarina was nowhere to be found, and the understudy gamely jumped into the role. As dramatic in death as in life, Caterina washed up on remote Point Fermin beach, a beautiful blue corpse battered by tides, rocks and tiny hungry fish. L.
A. Times reporter Eve Diamond knows Catarina's legend well, for Catarina was once involved with Eve's boyfriend, Silvio, who has been less than forthcoming about his ongoing involvement with Catarina. Was he involved in her death? Or could it be Alfonso, for whom Catarina served as muse and nemesis? Or perhaps Marisela, Alfonso's tempestuous (and exceptionally jealous) wife? Savage Garden is the fourth in the Eve Diamond series by L.A. journalist and author Denise Hamilton; the first, The Jasmine Trade, was nominated for several major mystery awards, including the Edgar, the Anthony and the Macavity. Savage Garden is a worthy addition to this laudable series.