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  • Chicano Mysteries: A shortlist

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Rudolfo Anaya: His mysteries feature Sonny Baca, an Albuquerque private eye whose cases usually require invocation of spiritual traditions and reliance on cultural truths: Alburquerque (1992), Zia Summer (1995), Río Grande Fall (1996), Shaman Winter (1999).

Lucha Corpi: Her sleuth is Gloria Damasco, a strong Chicana who often uses her ability to “see” into the future: Eulogy for a Brown Angel (1992), Cactus Blood (1995), Black Widow’s Wardrobe (1999).

Rolando Hinojosa-Smith: He is a classic Chicano writer who sets his crime novels in mythical Belken County, Texas, a landscape filled with characters and drama that have been compared to Faulkner’s: Partners in Crime (1985), Ask a Policeman (1998).

Martin Limón: He relies on his military experience to write crime novels set in Korea that involve the military police: Jade Lady Burning (1992), Slicky Boys (1997), Buddha’s Money (1998).

Max Martínez: He is as hard-boiled as they come. His work can be called “redneck noir.” The stories are set in south Texas and are gritty, mean, violent, and earthy: White Leg (1996), Layover (1997).

Ricardo Means-Ybarra: His first novel revolves around the mysterious Biltmore Hotel fire in Los Angeles and features a Chicana firefighter: Brotherhood of Dolphins (1997).

Michael Nava: His protagonist is Henry Ríos, a gay Chicano lawyer whose cases often take him into the gay underworld of Los Angeles: The Little Death (1986), Goldenboy (1988), Finale: Short Stories of Mystery and Suspense (editor, 1989), The Hidden Law (1992), How Town (1994), The Death of Friends (1996), The Burning Plain (1998).

Manuel Ramos: Luis Montez is a Chicano lawyer from Denver. His stories usually involve old friends in trouble, nostalgia for “el movimiento,” and the Chicano obsession with identity: The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz (1993), The Ballad of Gato Guerrero (1994), The Last Client of Luis Montez (1996), Blues for the Buffalo (1997).


Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 164
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2001
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