Death of a Saint Maker

Allana Martin, Author
Allana Martin, Author Thomas Dunne Books $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-18083-6
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Martin follows Death of a Healing Woman with another in-depth look at the people, problems and mores of la frontera, the border region between (and including parts of) Texas and Mexico. Trading-post owner Texana Jones arbitrates local disputes, but she finds herself up to her belt buckle in troubles when a newcomer says one of the locals' dogs has killed his goats. The dog is seen, with bloody fangs, running from a chapel across the border in Mexico where the ravaged body of a local wood carver is discovered. Although she is shaken by the man's vicious-looking death, Texana accompanies her husband, Clay, a veterinarian, to the hacienda of a rich Mexican rancher whom Clay is advising. Later, a Mexican mayor tells her that the wood carver was not killed by the dog but was murdered. Because the wealthy rancher put a ransom on the dog's head after she told him about the wood carver's death, Texana tries to prevent the dog from being shot by overzealous bounty hunters. Then Clay is approached by DEA agents who want him to uncover the rancher as a smuggler, and Texana's jaguar carving, made by the dead man, is stolen. The couple soon learn about what was hidden inside the wood carver's seemingly harmless statues and begin to suspect that the saint maker was involved in a smuggling operation. Martin ties up the murder and the motive while giving readers a slow-paced story spicy with Southwestern atmosphere. (Jan.)
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