Willie Cuesta

Created by John Lantigua

Edgar-nominated author John Lantigua introduced Cuban-American private eye WILLIE CUESTA in Player’s Vendetta (1999), who’s set up shop in Miami’s Little Havana, when he’s not working security at Caliente, his big brother Tommy’s salsa club. It’s an appropriate setting, because Willie loves to salsa—it’s one of the many touches that serve notice we’re not in Los Angeles or New York anymore. We’re in Miami, and the books and stories fairly explode with local colour.

A former police detective for the Miami PD, has plenty of contacts on the streets, on both sides of the law, although many of his cases take unexpected turns, perhaps most memorably in The Ultimate Havana (2001), which offered a thoroughly entertaining dive into the world of counterfeit Cuban cigars.

Former Miami Herald reporter Lantigua has also written several non-P.I thrillers, including Burn Season, Heat Lightning and Twister, as well as the historical novel La ficha roja.


  • “Lantigua knows the Caribbean and Miami the way Chandler knew Los Angeles.”
    Paul Levine



  • “The Jungle” (2001, And the Dying Is Easy)
  • “The Lovers from Traber” (March/April 2015, EQMM)
  • “The Gentleman from Shanghai” (May 2015, EQMM)
  • “The Jaguar at Sunset” (March/April 2016, EQMM)
  • “In the Time of Voodoo” (May-June 2017 , EQMM)
  • “The Cuban Prisoner” (September-October 2018, EQMM)
  • “The Revenge of the Puma” (March/April 2019, EQMM)
  • “The Underground Man” (November/December 2019, EQMM)
  • “The Harder They Fall” (July/August 2020, AHMM)
  • “The Man from Scotland Yard Dances Salsa” (November/December 2020, AHMM)
  • “The Cry of the Condor” (May/June 2021, EQMM)
  • “Death and the Coyote” (November/December 2021, EQMM)
  • “In the War Zone of the Heart” (March/April 2022, AHMM)



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And a tip of the fedora to Mario Šaravanja for plugging the holes in an always leaky boat.

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