Cover image for Death of an evangelista
Death of an evangelista
Martin, Allana.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
260 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Thomas Dunne book."
Format :


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When Texana Jones' Frontera neighbors start calling her "gringa", and she is suspected of murder, something has gone very wrong in tiny Polvo, Texas.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This third Texana Jones novel finds the operator of a trading post in the Texas border town of El Polvo, population 125, in need of some cheap dental work. Texana and her husband, Clay, head to Mexico for her root canal, but later, she becomes involved in the murder of a German military officer and is arrested. Dropping the right name gets Texana released with apologies, but the crime remains to be solved. The murder turns out to be the key to a decades-old mystery involving the leading Mexican family on the El Polvo side of the Rio. It also makes for an exciting Christmas season during which there are two more murders, the killing of a herd of prize horses, racial tension along with some vandalism, and a felonious attack on Texana. This is a solid story enhanced by Martin's smooth style. --Budd Arthur

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although an evangelist is indeed murdered in this atmospheric but unfocused third adventure (after Death of a Saint Maker) of trading post-owner Texana Jones, her death seems almost an afterthought. During a south-of-the-border trip for cheap dental work, Texana gets into a taxi already occupied by a dead man with a knife in his chest. She talks her way out of Mexican custody ("One does not, in Mexico, voluntarily become a witness to any crime"), but neighbor Claudia Reyes resents Texana for going free while her cousin, the cab driver, remains in jail. The murder victim, readers learn much later, was a German with mysterious family ties to the West Texas site of a WWII prisoner-of-war camp. Meanwhile, Texana's pickup truck is stolen, several horses are poisoned at the ranch of a local power broker, a suspicious trade in religious icons is revealed, and someone runs Texana off the road and robs her, and that evangelist is brutally slain (though her death is connected only loosely to the other events in the novel). Martin displays a rich knowledge of the Texas-Mexico frontier, a hard but enchanting landscape with a complex mix of politics, ethnicity and religion. However, the bloated plotting leaves entire story lines untended for long stretches, while Martin turns to unsatisfying, tacked-on monologues to bundle up the many loose ends. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved