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A Vine in the Blood (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #5)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  215 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe’s premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. A victory for the home team is inextricably linked to the skills of the country’s principal striker, Tico “The Artist” Santos, the greatest player in the history of the sport. All the politicians in Brasilia, from the President of the Republic on down, have their seats squa ...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 06, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is my first book by this author. It was a super quick read that falls into the crime/mystery genres. I liked that this was set in Brazil, but would have liked more of sense of place. This isn't the first book in this series so maybe I missed some of that. I thought the homing pigeons were an interesting twist.

I also liked that there was a major league soccer player as one of the characters. I will say that the language was awful and constant ( by almost everyone.) But I still liked the cha
Theresa de Valence
Apr 19, 2012 Theresa de Valence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, reviewed
I’ve just finished Leighton Gage’s A VINE IN THE BLOOD which is a marvelous crime story which takes place in Brazil. Sometimes in stories told in locations with cultures with which I’m not familiar, I end up feeling disoriented—I have no sense of what should be familiar—and so I lose the immediate connection with the story, but there was no such feeling with A VINE IN THE BLOOD. Not being interested in spectator sports, I noticed the populace in Brazil loves futebol (known to Americans and Canad ...more
Vicki Seldon
Aug 02, 2012 Vicki Seldon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Brazil - Fans of Police Procedurals
Shelves: mysteries
So far I have enjoyed all of the Mario Silva books. Each revolves around another aspect of Brazilian society, this one, the love of futbol which is seemingly universal across Brazil. The mother of the star player of the Brazilian soccer team is kidnapped just before the World Cup matches with Argentina - who is reponsible? Silva and his investigative team begin by questioning Argentine exiles in a Sao Paulo bar (hilarious) and the hunt for the kidnappers lead them to the worlds of Brazilian spor ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-brazil
Always a joy and thrill to read these tales from Brazil by Gage and how appropriate to finally have a mystery centered around football, the national sport. I enjoy more the interaction between Silva and his team and his jerk of a boss than the actual solving of the crimes. They make for entertaining exchanges. As usual I couldn't put this one down and finished it in less than 24 hours. It's that type of book. Violent kidnapping of Brazil's best player's mother right before the big match with Arg ...more
This is the fifth in the Brazilian-set Chief Inspector Mario Silva series (which starts with Blood of the Wicked), and while I usually devour crime fiction set in other countries, I'd never tried this series before. I suppose the catalyst for my picking this one up was that the jacket indicated soccer was involved in the plot. The book is set in the months before Brazil is to host the World Cup, and when the mother of Brazil's star player is kidnapped, Silva is called upon not only to save her l ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Ronna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This Brazilian mystery takes place just prior to the 1914 World Cup that is set to take place in Brazil. The Brazilian super star Tico, "The Artist", is expected to help Brazil run away with the win over their top rival, Argentina. But someone has kidnapped Tico's beloved mother and everyone is concerned that Tico won't be at his best with her missing.

Chief Inspector Mario Silva is assigned this case, with instructions to get her back before the highly anticipated games. There are plenty of sus
Apr 13, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last week I finished my first Leighton Gage novel. I liked it so much, I decided to tackle another one in the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series while waiting for my other reserved books to come in. “A Vine in the Blood” has the reader right in the middle of the action from the very first page where the murder of two women is discovered. There is never a dull moment, never a time when the reader is slogging thru, waiting to get to another “good” part. The entire book is just that good. As a bonu ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the first by this author that I have read and although it is the 5th in the series, I had no problems following along. Good solid mystery with smattering of comic relief thrown in for good measure. I would read more by the author and would definitely recommend this title.
James Thompson
Jan 28, 2012 James Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See my review of this excellent novel at New York Journal of Books
Mayara Arend
Oct 19, 2011 Mayara Arend rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And this is the first review I am writing completelly after I started posting again, it's a review of a book by an author I hold dear, his name is Leighton Gage and he's a very interesting man, so I'm opening an exception here, as I don't usually talk about the authors themselves, and go for it.
Leighton is an author of crime fiction, best known for the Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigations series of novels set in Brazil. This is the fifth book on the series and, well, since I'm Brazilian, L
Jan 10, 2017 Debby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An OK read. A few interesting plot twists (pigeons and diamonds!). There were many, many characters in this book and at times (for me) it was difficult to remember who was related to who and how. The book club group gave it an overall thumbs up.
Howard Marder
Apr 06, 2012 Howard Marder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's what I wrote in my review on Amazon when A Vine in the Blood was first

"Yes, A Vine in the Blood is about a football star, but more importantly it is
about murder and a kidnapping. If that doesn't grab the reader right away,
perhaps the fact that this, the latest in Leighton Gage's Brazilian bombshells,
is about something more. It is about good writing of a mystery novel. To be more
precise, it is about how the Federal police in Brazil go about solving crimes.

"This is a police proced
Dec 27, 2011 Lesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leighton Gage’s first three Chief Inspector Mario Silva crime novels, beginning with Blood of the Wicked, were extremely graphic, violent stories of Brazil and Silva’s investigations. Although they were always fascinating, providing views of a Brazil that few of us knew, I’m sure some readers were not happy with the graphic nature of the books. Crime and murder are not pretty. But, with the fourth book, Gage toned down the violence. And, now, with the fifth, A Vine in the Blood, he gives us a po ...more
Cathy Cole
Oct 31, 2011 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Line: Less than an hour after Juraci Santos was unceremoniously dumped into the back seat of her kidnappers' getaway car, Luca Vaz crept through her front gate and poisoned her bougainvilleas.

The kidnapping of this woman constitutes a national emergency. You see, it's the eve of the FIFA World Cup, and Brazil is the host country. Brazil is assured of a victory due to the skill of Tico "The Artist" Santos, and since the entire country is football (soccer) mad, the level of celebration will
Jan 10, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goal !! Leighton Gage!,

This review is from: A Vine in the Blood: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation (Hardcover)
"Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood" (Ezekiel 19:10)

The blood-red tint of bougainvilleas is the main concern of an unusual color-blind gardener named Luca Vas when he arrives at the São Paolo home of Juraci Santos.
Tico "The Artist" Santos is the principal striker for the Brazilian team, which has been favored to win the FIFA Fútbol World Cup, which is being hosted by Brazi
Jan 16, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in a good reads giveaway and, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In the afterword that follows A Vine in the Blood, Leighton Gage describes the insanity that grips rabid soccer fans whose team is in contention for "the most prized trophy in the history of sport," the World Cup. In this seriocomic police procedural, Juraci Santos, the low-class mother of Tico "The Artist" Santos (Brazil's most talented soccer player), is kidnapped. Director Nelson Sampaio, Chief Inspector M ...more
Gloria Feit
Jan 01, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth novel in the series, referred to as the Inspector Mario Silva Investigations, and it is every bit as delightful as the others. “Delightful” might be a strange adjective for a book concerning kidnapping and murder, but it is entirely fitting.

Football [or, as the Americans call it, ‘soccer’] is the most popular sport in Brazil, and the FIFA World Cup the premier event in that sport, and Tico Santos, known as The Artist, is considered the greatest player in the history of the spor
Feb 16, 2012 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is two weeks away from the biggest game in Brazil, the FIFA World Cup against their bitter rival Argentina. The country is gearing up, bets are being placed, and the fans are putting all their hopes on Tico “The Artist” Santos. When the Artist’s mother Juraci is kidnapped, the country is riveted to the case hoping beyond all hope she is returned before the big game so the Artist is at his best.

Chief Inspector Mario Silva is assigned the case along with his partner Arnaldo Nunes, together they
Kathleen Hagen
A Vine in the Blood, by Leighton Gage, b-plus, Narrated by Peter Bergrot, Produced by audiogo, downloaded from

The publisher’s note says it as well as I could. I would only add that the narrator was superb at presenting the continual understated humor of the cops and villains sparking off each other.
Publisher’s note:
It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe's premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. All eyes are on the country's principal striker, Tico
"The Artist" San
I wasn't sure how many stars to rate A Vine in the Blood. I enjoyed the other Silva mysteries, and this one certainly had engaging characters, snappy dialogue (that reminds me of Camilleri), and plenty of plot twists. It's just that it was almost all dialogue and very little action. One thing I did like is that there were plenty of women in it, though some of them were nasty (I guess that's fair treatment!), and it was almost a joke that each person with a cool job (the leader of the hostage res ...more
Kai Coates
We've all got a touch of World Cup fever, so I thought it would be fun to read this book set in Brazil right before the World Cup. The nation's best football (soccer) star's mother is kidnapped. The nation is undeniably upset - not so much for the lady, but because her son may not play his best under such stress. According to the author's note at the end, this actually happened not once but three times in Brazil before the last World Cup. They are very serious about their soccer.

The book itself
Jan 31, 2012 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I received this book from SOHO as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

That said, I would have read this book regardless, as it is the fifth in a very, very strong series that has strong characters, a great setting, and meaningful social commentary.

I am not going to mention anything about the plot here, as you can find this information elsewhere, though will say that I think this book is the not the strongest of the series. In fact, I would say it is the weakest, though it is still pretty da
Steve P.
Feb 17, 2012 Steve P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Leighton Gage's newest installment in his internationally known Inspector Silva series a great read, well crafted and smartly paced. With each book, Silva and company seem to get more interesting. A VINE IN THE BLOOD is one of those special novels you sit down with and before you realize it you're fifty pages along. Gage has that rare ability to excite and draw the reader in with supenseful action that is devoid of gratuitous violence. Engrossing characters (some we love to hate) appear ...more
Dec 24, 2011 Kai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The Vine in the Blood has so many suspects with motives for kidnapping Tico "The Artist" Santos' mother. Did the Argentinians do it or was it someone on "The Artist" Brazilian Soccer Team who did it? Throw in a mobster and a corrupt Police Captain. Now the list of suspects is growing. Even the top-model who happened to be "The Artist" girlfriend/fiance has motive to take "The Artist" mother out of the picture.

Someone definitely wants "The Artist" off his game during the World Soccer game (to th
Lisa Brackmann
Feb 29, 2012 Lisa Brackmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leighton Gage's A VINE IN THE BLOOD can be read in several different ways. First, as a police procedural -- but set in an environment, contemporary Brazil, where the procedures are unfamiliar to most of us. Chief Inspector Silva is a moral man in a system where corruption is a feature, not a bug, and it's his struggle to seek justice within this system that drives the book.

On another level, VINE is a critique and a bit of a satire of celebrity culture. The mother of soccer/futbol star "the Artis
Shay Williams
Feb 28, 2012 Shay Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This will be the first time that my readers will have seen a police procedural reviewed however after reading A VINE IN THE BLOOD I rather doubt that it will be the last. Luckily it was a quick read, it took me seven hours from start to finish, as I wasn’t able to put the book down until the rather surprising and satisfying conclusion.

A VINE IN THE BLOOD has the reader right in the middle of the action from the very first page where the murder of two women was discovered and never gives you a ch
Debbi Mack
Apr 07, 2012 Debbi Mack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
Mere weeks before the big showdown for the World Cup FIFA futbol (aka soccer, as we gringos call it ;)) championship, Brazil's most awesome player Tico "The Artist" Santos is put through a traumatic ordeal when his dear mother, Juraci Santos is kidnapped. Not only do the kidnappers take Juraci, but they murder her maids in cold blood and her sweet little doggie, and they try unsuccessfully to make it look like a break-in gone bad.

Now ... Brazilian pride and sportsmanship are on the line, and Bra
Kim Heimbuch
Jan 11, 2012 Kim Heimbuch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tito is a big time soccer player in Brazil and highly famed for the win by the Brazilian soccer team about to host and play in the FIFA World Cup. Right before the start of the games, his mother is kidnapped, her maids brutally murdered and the list of suspects is avidly growing. Could this be his money hungry girlfriend, an opposing team agent trying to get Tito to toss the game, local scoundrels, or one of the many other growing possibilities. Chief Inspector Mario Silva is on the case and det ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was a very good mystery/police investigation book - the fifth in the series about Chief Inspector Mario Silva. Set in Brazil, a star soccer (football)player's mother is kidnapped just before the World Cup. The story flows through the investigation nicely and has some good twists and turns in the plot. While the book was the fifth in the series, I was able to pick up the novel and read without having felt I missed something.

Character definition was good, but I never felt I really knew any of
Feb 06, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this in a firstreads giveaway.

This was not only my first book in the Mario Silva series but also my first by this author and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be fast-paced, full of plot twists, and sometimes comical.

Shortly before Brazil is set to host the World Cup, the mother of Tico Santos is kidnapped. Tico, also known as "The Artist," is considered to be the star of the Brazilian team. Of course the pressure then put on the police including Silva is enormous. With a whole
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Died July 27th, 2013

Leighton Gage writes the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil. He and his Brazilian-born wife divide their time between their home in Brazil and those of their children and grandchildren in Europe and the U.S.
Praise for the Chief Inspector:

Hard-hitting, atmospheric…. Despite their social conscience and ambitious reach, there's nothing stiff or programm
More about Leighton Gage...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Mario Silva (7 books)
  • Blood of the Wicked (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #1)
  • Buried Strangers (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #2)
  • Dying Gasp (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #3)
  • Every Bitter Thing (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #4)
  • Perfect Hatred (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #6)
  • The Ways of Evil Men (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #7)

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