Genre: Romance, Historical
Length: 282 Pages
Publishing Date: July 20, 2017
Buying Links for The Last Valentine: A Labyrinth of Love Letters:
From the Blurb:
When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector Sedeño finds it in her possession. A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets–the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.
Set in 1935 in Old Sienna, a lovely Puerto Rico town, the book takes the reader on an adventure filled romantic mystery. An unidentified man is found murdered in a street of Old Sienna. The man’s identity remains unknown. The only clue that can lead to reveal the victim’s identity, a bloodstained love letter found with the victim’s body disappears from the police evidence files. Chief Inspector Sedeno who takes on the investigation suspects one of his colleague, Inspector Javier Villalobos of the theft. Unknowingly, the letter lands in Inspector Villalobos’ daughter, Olivia’s hands, prompting a search for the mythical Labyrinth of Love Letters. Will Olivia Villalobos with the help of her childhood friend, Isaac Quintero, succeed in finding the mysterious Labyrinth? What happens when long-buried secrets come out in the open and threatens to change lives of everyone involved?
In The Last Valentine, Alexander depicts love in its full glory, be it the happily ever after scenario or tragic end to some unfortunate love story angle in a sweet, old-fashioned world. For those who do not care about romance genre much, The Last Valentine would seem a bit over the top when it comes to depiction of to what extent a lover could go for the sake of their love. The mystery part of the story; finding the identity of the murder victim and that of murderer, nevertheless, is very intriguing, I would have loved to see the author depicts it in more of a hard-boiled stance: whereas the beginning of the book promises a delicious, old-fashioned, cozy mystery story, it becomes heavy on romance as the story proceeds. Not that it would hamper the reader’s ability to enjoy the book any less though.
Alexander’s writing is elegant and lovers of classic literature would find intermittent citations of stunning pieces of classic literary giants’ work (including the lesser known ones’ that I’m itching to get my hands on right now!) a pleasure to read. The setting of old-world Puerto Rico as well as the concept of Labyrinth of Love Letters is fascinating. The lovers of historical romance genre with a healthy dose of mystery would definitely love The Last Valentine.