Border communities in Texas are rife with special words that only a few understand. Mitotero ("myth maker") is one of them, denoting one who's a big talker or a show-off, and in this case, who's asking for trouble. The fourth adventure (after Death of an Evangelista) for Texana Jones, who owns a trading post, starts off on the right foot, with a prologue providing an 1852 description of the mystifying "Marfa Lights." These glowing images of the desert have long fascinated visitors and locals alike, and should be the perfect backdrop for murder and mystery. Unfortunately, Martin abandons them after the early chapters, making the prologue meaningless. Texana's trading post on the Mexican border serves ranchers, marines and drug traffickers. Two traumatic incidents on her property occur within days: the murder of a Mexican photographer and a wild brush fire that drives Texana and husband Clay into the Paisano Hotel in Marfa. Speculation in the small Rio Grande town points at several suspects, including Texana. But she is suspicious of Julian Row, a boaster zoning in on the fortunes of one of the famous Spivey sisters, an eccentric bunch who finish each other's sentences and pride themselves on their sharp shooting. Row's death gets the ball rolling.
Texana Jones runs a trading post near the Mexican border, while her husband serves the locals as a veterinarian. In this fourth book of the author's borderland series, unusual events begin with the visit of sister-in-law Fran, who announces her separation from her husband. Then, a visiting Mexican photographer is murdered at the trading post, drawing unwarranted police suspicion, and someone kills the visiting braggart who has been courting one of seven spinster sisters at their ranch. Drugs may be the connection among the murders, and Texana aims to find out. A sure hand for detail and character add credence to a fine plot.
The Texana Jones series turned into one of my favorite cozy reads. Recommended for anyone who wants to feel like they are in the desert.