Saturday, June 09, 2012

Rendezvous in Veracruz by Carolyn Hart

Long before Carolyn Hart wrote her Death on Demand mystery series, she wrote Rendezvous in Veracruz, a novel of suspense intended for young adults. It may have been aimed at that audience, but I was captivated by the two gutsy young women in the book, and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Hart sets the scene for trouble with an introductory chapter, "The Path to Veracruz." Readers meet a young couple who are students at the National University in Mexico, stranded in their boat in North Africa. There's a young man desperate to borrow money from a bandit. And, Linda Prescott is flying in to Mexico to attend college, knowing she's rooming with Maura Kelly in a house where Americans boarded who were attending the University of the Americas. And, that house becomes the center of attention in Mexico City.

Lin Prescott is much quieter than the vivacious redhead, Maura. Maura is fluent in Spanish due to her years living in the country when her father was stationed in the Embassy there, and the fact that her grandmother was Spanish. And, she is comfortable in Mexico, but hides her Spanish competency from the men she dates. She isn't happy, though, when Lin observes one of Maura's boyfriends hiding an envelope behind a clock in the house. Maura decides to make him pay. Her one decision to open that envelope, then confront Luis about it, sets both young women on a dangerous path. Once Maura steals the envelope in an attempt to get it to the proper authorities, there's no going back. Maura and Lin find themselves dealing with men with nothing to lose by killing two young women.

As I said, Rendezvous in Veracruz is a page-turner. However, readers will have to remember that it was originally written in 1970. And, today's young adults might not understand all the references. They'll certainly notice the lack of cell phones since the two young women have to wait by phones for calls, or leave convoluted messages. Saying that, I'm actually going to recommend this to adult readers who enjoy a fast-paced suspense novel. I think we have the background to appreciate and enjoy Rendezvous in Veracruz.

(And, in a few weeks, this autographed copy will be in one of my giveaways. Carolyn Hart sent it so I could give it away. Watch for it!)

Carolyn Hart's website is

Rendezvous in Veracruz by Carolyn Hart. Oconee Spirit Press. 1970. ISBN 9780983004042 (paperback), 163p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent it so I could read it, and give it away.


Mary Kennedy said...

This looks wonderful, I'm so glad you reviewed it, Lesa. I love all of Carolyn's books and I know I will love this one!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Mary. This is one that many of Carolyn Hart's fans may have missed, so it's always nice to review and share those books.

Jane R said...

I have heard some vague reference to this early Carolyn Hart book but this is the first review I've read. I have enjoyed all of her books and it sounds like this one would be no exception. Thanks for the info.

Judith Starkston said...

I enjoy Carolyn Hart, but have never read this early young adult book. Thanks for reminding readers about it. Sounds great.