In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Chicano Mysteries: A shortlist

[Return to Article]

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).