Lupe Solano

Created by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

“I became a PI so I could write the books.”
— Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

Cuban-born private eye LUPE SOLANO claims Miami’s Little Havana as her turf, as does her creator, former real-life gumshoe Carolina Garcia-Aguilera. Lupe runs her own agency, assisted by her health-conscious cousin Leonardo and a motley crew of colourful investigators.

Lupe may top out at just about five feet, but don’t try pushing heraround. She’s young, tough, self-assured, and she carries a Beretta in her purse. She’s also one hell of a detective, dogged and determined.

Mind you, she also his a thing for good food and expensive clothes, drives a Mercedes and keeps bottles of champagne in her office fridge (you never know). She doesn’t mind an occasional roll in the hay, either– just for the fun of it; much to the dismay, understandably perhaps, of her older sister Lourdes, who’s is a nun, who really doesn’t approve of such things.

Neither, apparently, do several of the more genteel fans on DorothyL. “I was excoriated for her sex—all the men,” Garcia-Aguilera says, “But I  don’t give a damn. It’s my book…. I wanted her to be able to do whatever she wanted.”

Which is far more diplomatic than I’d be. Fuck ’em, I say. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun, too.

And Garcia-Aguilera does seem to be having fun. Her clients tend to be drawn from the well-to-do and more eccentric end of the Cuban-American community, like the hooker who claims she’s a virgin or the Mother Superior who drags her into a turf war with another convent.

A welcome addition to the genre, as is the single, short-story appearance of another Cuban-American P.I., Maria Magdalena Morales.


Born in Havana, Cuba, the author came to the United States when she was ten. She attended Miss Porters High School in Conneticut, and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, with B.A. in history and political science. She became a private investigator in 1986, with the goal of writing a series featuring a female Cuban-American P.I. based in Miami. I think she succeeded. The fifth book in the series, Havana Heat, won the Shamus Award for best private eye hard cover from the Private Eye Writers of America, the first (and, so far, only) Latina author to win that particular prize. She lives in Miami Beach with numerous daughters and dogs.


  • “The Lupe Solano books aren’t just spot-on PI novels—they kicked my brain into high gear when I discovered them, just as I was starting to ponder the creation of my own private eye. Lupe, like Pete, is Cuban American, and it was nice to have Pete speed through the door Lupe kicked down. Great, classic crime fiction.”
    — Alex Segura, the Pete Fernandez series
  • “This is Garcia-Aguilera at her best. A former private investigator, she is expert at using Lupe’s questions, hunches and dogged pursuit of the case to keep the mystery unfolding and the plot driving forward.”
    — Miami Herald on Bloody Twist




  • Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
    Florida Man Craig Pittman profiles the woman who brought the Cuban-American experience to Miami noir. (January 2021, CrimeReads)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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