By Vanessa Juarez
Updated September 08, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Set in Miami, these nine stories are an entertaining end-of-the-mojito-season read. We meet several eccentrics, from a paranoid paint-shop owner to a well-to-do guy who gets mixed up with two women who die prematurely, through no real fault of his own. Throughout characters recall bits of unsought advice, the clichéd kind Latino parents are wont to dish out. The first seven tales are amusing enough to tide you over till the last two, more intricate gems, including Gonzalo Barr’s title story, The Last Flight of José Luis Balboa, about three people whose lives become interconnected, à la director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s films.