In the same roiling Havana of Teresa Dovalpage's dark culinary crime fiction debut (Death Comes in through the Kitchen), Queen of Bones follows the jaded detective Padrino through a murder investigation that rocks the city's gay community.
Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Cuba for the first time since fleeing by raft twenty years ago. He travels with his American wife, Sharon, hoping to catch up with his childhood best friend Victor--and, unbeknownst to Sharon, find what has become of two of his ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.
Juan is surprised to discover that Victor is now Victoria, and runs a popular drag show at the local Café Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group's lies and hunt down a killer.