O canto da Sereia (“Sereia’s Song”): Anything can happen in Bahia, according to Nelson Motta. The Trios Elétricos, Bahia’s carnival floats, are gliding along the streets, when Sereia, a 23-year old pop star, is fatally shot while performing on one of the carriages.
The novel’s narrator is Agostinho Matoso, short Augustão, a private detective who was responsible for Sereia’s safety during her performance and now aims to shed light on her death. The setting is Bahia and its carnival – nothing like its counterpart in Rio de Janeiro – the political intrigues leading up to the forthcoming governor’s election and Afro-Brazilian rituals spread across the whole social stratum. Gay impresario Tuta Tavares not only endorses the candidate for the governor’s post by all means imaginable, but had also invested large sums of money to make a pop star out of Sereia, then an inconspicuous young lady from the back-country. She has become the product of a clever marketing campaign and is at the height of her career when she is murdered. The author knows the ropes of showbiz, and of Bahia. The novel presents a compact scenario, pillared by the suspense of a murder which may not have been one.