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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Editors’ Choice • 

Good Morning America Buzz Pick • 

From the best-selling author of Mexican Gothic comes a riveting noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find.

“An adrenalized, darkly romantic journey.” (The Washington Post)

1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger. 

Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman - and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.

Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ’n’ roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he watches Maite from a distance - and comes to regard her as a kindred spirit who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.

Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies all aiming to protect Leonora’s secrets - at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night is an edgy, simmering historical novel for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes.

©2021 Silvia Moreno-Garcia (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Velvet Was the Night] is a noir with a heart of gold, and it’s a narrative in which the empathy we feel for its characters ultimately reveals an important truth: That Moreno-Garcia is not only a talented storyteller but also an incredibly versatile one.” (NPR) 

“Immensely satisfying, refreshingly new and gloriously written . . . Moreno-Garcia mashes up Anglocentric genres with midcentury Mexican history, resulting in a brew flavored with love, heartbreak, violence, music and unsettling dread.... The gift of this book, and Moreno-Garcia’s storytelling, is how it imbues this well-worn genre with added strength, grace and even musicality.” (The New York Times Book Review, “Editor’s Choice”)

"An enthralling tale that’s as fun as it is mysterious.... The characters are fascinating, the tone lush and romantic, and it’s all wrapped up in a mystery with twists and turns one likely won’t see coming.... [Silvia Moreno-Garcia is] the sort of author whose works automatically end up on your 'must-read' list.” (USA Today)

Featured Article: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with These Top 12 Audiobooks


Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month when you embrace 12 of the best listens by Latino authors we love all year round. From the mountains of Colombia to the streets of New York City, dive into decades of captivating storytelling through the lens of Latino culture. Explore genres as told by Latino and Latina authors from a wide variety of rich cultural backgrounds. Each listen offers a new insight into the vivid world of Latino experiences.

What listeners say about Velvet Was the Night

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, entertaining, and insightful

My biggest critique is that I finished it so quickly. Amazing book I enjoyed the political / historical environment weaved by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This is the 3rd book I've listened to from her, in the last year, and probably my favorite. Wonderful characters, rich musical references that I often found myself listening to in between chapters, and really utilizes the landscape of Mexico City. It has a bit of a Pulp Fiction vibe at times, I'd love to see this as a movie.

6 people found this helpful

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Great Noir

This novel is great if you like noir. Organized crime story involving the government and students wanting a revolution.

4 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop

Once I started the story I couldn’t stop! Such a great story with enthralling characters and a plot that keeps you wanting more!

3 people found this helpful

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I liked it...but it was tough

So I'll get to it, I liked the way the story was read, and the experience was great my only complaint was the protagonist. Like I am not sure if she was made to be realistic. We always expect the protagonist to be so sure of themselves and ready to do whatever is necessary, but she was second-guessing herself, making decisions that had me screaming at them like if I was watching a movie, and my God I rooted for her, I truly wanted her to open her eyes and see the obvious. Honestly, I think maybe that was the whole point of her character to make us look within to see that in certain circumstances where we kept our head in the sand we do crazy ridiculous things. The story dragged on in certain parts and the dialogue was at times really cheesy but it gave it the feel of how they may have used certain slang in that time. Still a great story and I enjoy her other books, give it a try if you have credits to spare.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this novel!!

This noir-style novel had me hooked from the very beginning to the very end. Completely recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it

This book was amazing! The characters are so well done. García is such an amazing Writer.

2 people found this helpful

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Good find

I love Elvis, relate to Maite. Well told story, characters were genuinely interesting and not forced. Will recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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Must Read

Incredible historical fiction/ pulp fiction. I had never heard of this massacres which feels like a missed piece of information that I definitely should have been alerted to in school.

The characters grab you, the plot is intricate but solid. I’ve seen some reviews compare this story to the film Pulp Fiction but honestly this novel better.

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LOVE!

I read Mexican Gothic several months back and quite enjoyed it but never expected this author to come out with something more like a detective thriller set against Mexican political upheaval! This was an excellent ride and I had trouble putting it down, both for the story and for the excellent performance of the voice actors.

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Velvet Was the Night

Well paced story that catches your attention from the start. Narrator was easy to listen to. I did not particularly like the characters or feel attached to them which hurt my rating. 🤷🏼‍♀️