Adios Muchachos, written by Venezuelan noir novelist Daniel Chavarría, was his first published in English in 2001. It presents the reader with one of the most appealing heroines to come along in years, a Havana bicycle hooker named Alicia. She's beautiful, genuinely erotic, crafty, intelligent, and tough.
Why is Chavarría smiling? He's a former Classical lit professor who devoted much of his academic career to studying the origins and history of prostitution. So with Alicia, he combines his professional knowledge with the elements of the best noir fiction: unusual and often grotesque characters, crosses and double-crosses, erotic encounters, and world-wise characters without a trace of sticky altruism.
It results in an appealing caper that won an Edgar Award for Original Paperback Fiction later in 2001. The book has legs, not the least of which are Alicia's. Adios Muchachos begs to be filmed. Here's an excerpt.
Alicia was out to create a future for herself, and obscenity did not have any role in her script.
Her shorts, however, were designed to make the most of her glorious glutei whenever she pedalled down the streets of Havana. All of Alicia's shorts had six strategic buttons, three on each side. She had sewn them on and made the buttonholes with infinite care, and when she rode her bicycle she would unbutton all six. The obvious pretext was that this gave her greater freedom of motion to work the pedals. Then she would fold the waistband over, tightening it up and lifting the hemline to reveal another two inches of her rounded thighs. Mounting the bicycle seat brought her liberated butt into action - swish, swish, one cheek up, the other cheek down, boom, bam - pressing on the shiny seat that was raised so high that merely pedalling made it swing and sway in a hallucination-inducing teeter-totter.
And just to make certain that no one would mistake her for a hooker, she carried a gunnysack across her back with a long T-square and two rolled-up pieces of drawing paper protruding from the top. Engineer? Architect?