Death of the Last Villista
St. Martin's Press, August, 2001.
Hardcover, 224 pages.
Trading post owner and sometime amateur sleuth Allana Jones is up to her cowboy boots in Hollywood, murder and scandal when a film crew arrives in Polvo, Texas to make a documentary about the fortieth anniversary of the release of a famous film about Pancho Villa. The lead actor in the original Villa film is now a big tv star, so there is quite a bit of interest in the original film. On the original film set, a consultant was killed before filming ended. The consultant was a former Villa follower named Jacinto Trejo and the circumstances of his murder remain a mystery to this day. When the documentary crew arrives at Texana's trading post, things immediately begin to go wrong. An RV is blown up, and a young boy is missing. When Texana finds out that the missing boy's mother was the lover of Jacinto Trejo, she starts to dig into the past to find a murderer who is very much in the present.
Allana Martin does a marvelous job of bringing to life the stark beauty and simplicity of the area between Mexico and Texas known as La Frontera. Hot, dry and dusty, the area also has little pollution and beautiful sunsets. The pacing is slow and measured, much like life in La Frontera, and the writing is excellent. The mystery and the depiction of Texana's life both make for interesting and entertaining reading.
Death of the Last Villista is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the April, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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