Escape to Havana


For Charlie Hillier, a posting to Cuba could be the perfect place to start his new life — if he survives it.

With his career stalled and the office abuzz about his soon-to-be-ex-wife’s indiscretions, Ottawa bureaucrat Charlie Hillier is desperate for a change. So when the chance at a posting to the Canadian embassy in Havana comes up, he jumps at it, grateful to get as far away as he can from his ex and his dead-end job at Foreign Affairs headquarters.

At first, exotic Havana seems just the place to bury his past and start anew, but he didn’t count on finding a couple of kilos of cocaine under his bedroom floor, the kidnapping of a fellow diplomat, or the unsettling connection he uncovers between the former occupant of his house and a Colombian drug-runner. Before long, Charlie’s only concern is whether he’ll survive his posting at all.


A bit of romance, a bit of gentle humor, several bits of official corruption and drug-related violence, and a chance for the mild-mannered hero to rise to an impossible challenge.

Kirkus Reviews

Readers who stay the course, whether drawn by curiosity or Wilkshire’s masterful prose and sly humor, will get their reward.


A highly entertaining, fast-paced mystery.

Publishers Weekly

There is a kind of wry humour to Escape to Havana, as the bumbling protagonist succeeds and in the process becomes the hero of his own story.

The humour and watching a Canadian in Cuba is the real gem of the book.

The Book Trail

Wilkshire may be among Canada’s most humorous writers.

The Sun Times

Escape to Havana is a likeable page-turning cocktail of drugs, geopolitics, greed, (some) sex and murder in a diplomatic pouch full of all the ingredients of what is to become a popular series.

Bynoe on Arts

If you thought diplomacy was all play and no work, this book will confirm those opinions. It’s not the image Foreign Affairs aspires to perpetuate, but it’s plenty of lightweight fun.

Ottawa Magazine

Escape to Havana is immensely readable and great fun.

Deadly Diversions

A fast-paced, entertaining, and cautionary tale about the glamorous life of the diplomatic set, peopled with believable toughs and an engaging protagonist

Ottawa Review of Books

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