DEATH OF THE LAST VILLISTA by Allana Martin
A TEXANA JONES MYSTERY
Thomas Dunne, August 2001
In 1961, a movie was shot in far west Texas about a Pancho Villa raid on the U.S. During the filming, one of the film's advisors, a man who had actually ridden with Villa, was killed and his killer was never found. Now, decades later, a film crew is making a documentary about the Villa film--and the long-ago murder becomes very near at hand.
Texana Jones is a shop keeper, neighborhood busy-body, and sometimes amateur crime investigator (see also our review of DEATH OF A MYTHMAKER). When a threatening note arrives at her home and a mobile home explodes, Texana knows that this isn't just the ghost of Pancho Villa--someone real and alive is active and dangerous. Still, the past is dangerous and what Texana learns about her mother startles her--and may uncover a motive pointing at her father as that long-ago killer.
Author Allana Martin does a wonderful job describing both the bleak beauty of the border region of west Texas and also the close-knit community that has evolved there (including people from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border). Her descriptions of the abandoned and nearly killed horses rings true (although I would have liked to see this more tightly integrated into the plot).
DEATH OF TH ELAST VILLISTA is a fine novel and a welcome addition to the Texana Jones family. See more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Allana Martin.
Purchase DEATH OF THE LAST VILLISTA from Amazon.com (hardback).