From Sarah Weinman's excellent Crime Fiction blog "Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind" comes a link to the Miami Herald's quick overview article on crime fiction being written in contemporary Cuba. I read the excellent "Outcast: A Novel" by Jose Latour last year (it's mentioned in the article) and loved it. The article, written by Enrique Fernandez, quotes from what seems to be a very interesting book-length study of Cuban and Mexican Crime fiction titled "Crimes Against the State, Crimes Against Persons" by Persephone Braham. Both authors point up the strong differences that exist between the Spanish "policiaco" and the American/British "police procedurals". There's another interesting overview of Cuban crime fiction at G.J. Demko's "Landscape of Crime". Both articles makes me hungry for the Leonardo Padura novels and more from Jose Latour.
PS, the Sarah Weinman blog is very, very good. It's the kind of book-related site that should be an example for everyone. She writes clearly and with passion. There is a large amount of interesting information posted and it's frequently updated. I came to her blog while researching my upcoming "novels into films" essay on George Higgins's "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" book and film. There is a fascinating post in Sept of '04 about her not liking Elmore Leonard (who modeled his early books on Higgins) and wondering if there are gender differences among crime fiction readers. Many excellent responses to her rather provocative post (and I'm envious). Here's a direct link to save you all the digging:
Link to Gender post at Sarah Windman's blog