Death of an Evangelista by Allana Martin

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Synopsis

Award-winning author Allana Martin brings us another adventure of the very likable Texana Jones, owner of a trading post in Presidio County, across the Rio Grande from Mexico. An ugly and frightening episode--a dead man occupying the taxi Texana enters on her way home from a dentist appointment in Mexico--is an indication of a local attitude that has smoldered for more than a century and lately seems to be about to flame up once more. La frontera is a place whose Catholic heritage is jealously guarded and where Protestant evangelism is met with hostility and even violence--only recently two Mormon missionaries have disappeared in a remote village. Now, in Presidio, a woman named Electra has arrived and she, too, is preaching conversion.

When Texana and Father Jack, the new Catholic priest, visit La Noria, the lush ranch belonging to the long-established Spanish-American Haro family, they find a conflict is roiling in that established house. Alicia, the padrone's granddaughter, has become Electra's devoted follower. In defense of his strong opposition, the elder Haro gives the visitors the story of the conflicts, both religious and political, in his own family that hardened his antagonism toward such preachers and their preaching.

Texana is shaken and Father Jack apprehensive as they leave to deliver Electra's grocery order. Their fears are more than justified. There is hatred and murder, and Texana suddenly finds herself reviled and shunned by the people in the town who she thought were her friends--and customers. Epithets are shouted at her, insults painted on the trading post wall. Even more frightening, there are threats of worse to come before Texana, backed by her husband, Clay, her father, and their loyal friend Pete Rosales, can win back friendship and respect without having to compromise her beliefs.

 

About Allana Martin

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Allana Martin lives in Marfa, Texas, with her husband. Her first novel, Death of a Healing Woman, won the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Bearer Award. She is a former journalism teacher.
 
Published March 1, 1999 by St Martins Pr. 260 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Out of all the scarce humans in borderline Presidio County, only shopkeeper Texana Jones's veterinarian husband Clay can tell for sure--but Clay's detained at Gordon Mateo Suarez's fabulous Rancho de Sierra Vista, enjoying Suarez's bountiful, coercive hospitality--and by the time he returns with ...

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Texana Jones, owner of a desert trading-post near the Mexican border, is still grieving over the unsolved murder of her best friends when she finds the body of Rhea Fair: an aging, reclusive curandera--a healing woman--trusted by both Anglos and Mexicans.

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Even though Texana Jones’s trading post is the closest tiny Polvo comes to big-city culture, the reunion is beset by nonstop problems—as befits a video on such an ill-starred project as Panchito, whose technical advisor, Jacinto Trejo, had survived a childhood as a Villa conscript only to meet hi...

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Publishers Weekly

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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. D

Mar 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Death of an Evangelista

Publishers Weekly

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Those thirsty for a refreshing read will welcome Martin's sixth mystery (after 2001's Death of the Last Villista) to feature hip trading-post owner Texana Jones, which focuses on some all too real problems along the arid Texas-Chihuahua border.

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When a travel writer dismisses her own town of Polvo as "a hot, dreary little place full of barking cur dogs," Texana, who runs a trading post, agrees but adds, "On a clear day the sky above is pale turquoise, the dust motes turn the harsh sunlight golden, and the shadows of mesquite leaves dance...

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Jones tracks down the identity of Fair's last client, a journalist, now also missing, who was writing a book about the curandera.Getting help in her investigation from both sides of the border, Jones must also deal with her husband's campaign to stem a rabies epidemic, and with multimillionaire r...

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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 sh...

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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