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Dane Chandos Books Reviewed by Dane Chandos


Drama & Diplomacy In A Sultry Mexican Beach Town Reviewed by James Tipton

I like this book, but I don't like the title: Drama & Diplomacy in a Sultry Mexican Beach Town. The book is not about "drama & diplomacy." It's about one person's life in Puerto Vallarta... read more

Tequila, Lemon and Salt: From Baja - Tales of Love, Faith and Magic by Daniel Reveles Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The location for these nine stories is the town of Tecate in the Baja, located 34 miles east of Tijuana. Tucked away in the extreme northwest of Mexico, it couldn't possibly be any closer to the U.S. border. The town can also boast that it is the home of Daniel Reveles, author of three attractive collections of novellas. The latest of these is the one reviewed here. read more

First flight - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Gloria Marthai

My reprobate pilot is a doctor. His own health problems prompted early retirement to Mexico. When he couldn't pass a health exam for a new flying license, he changed a 3 to an 8 on the expiration date of his old one and flew down from Seattle. Most generous with his gringo friends, Doc shares his medical expertise, his Jaguar, his Harley and now his Cessna. This is my first flight in a small plane and I'm excited. Our plans are simple. Two hours round trip to the coastal beach, a swim and picnic lunch. We should be back in the afternoon. read more

Going for a Mexican ride - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Dory Jones

I'm sorry your husband couldn't come today. He's a much better driver than you are. No offense, its just that, generally speaking, women aren't very good drivers. Watch out for that kid on the bike. Driving in Mexico here, its not easy, especially for a woman. These Mexicans, they drive like madmen. read more

Introducing Rick Gage: Murder in La Paz and Death Mask of the Jaguar by Murdoch Hughes Reviewed by Allan Cogan

With these two thrillers we find ourselves in the world of hard-boiled private eyes - a la Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler - but with a difference. Both stories are squarely set in Mexico. Murdoch Hughes has created a private eye, Rick Gage, who has given up his former career as a detective in Los Angeles to get away from the stress and violence he experienced there and moved to La Paz. However, with these two books, Rick encounters enough stress and violence to fill any number of careers. But he's a tough guy. He can take it. read more

The lady is a tramp - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Nina Discombe

- an excerpt from the book: "Agave Marias - border crossers, boundary breakers." by various authors.

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A peon ponders the equality of life Ruth Ross-Merrimer

For the second year in a row it was a time of drought in Mexico. At the time of year when the life-giving rains should have been falling each day, they had come and gone, dropping just enough moisture ... read more

The Veracruz Blues by Mark Winegardner Reviewed by Allan Cogan

This is a wonderful mixture of fact and fiction about America, Mexico and baseball. The time of the story is the ‘40s when Mexico had great baseball teams and the Veracruz Blues "was the best ball club that ever was". The story is about 1946, la temporada de oro, the season of gold. read more

Escape to Mexico: An Anthology of Great Fiction edited by Sara Nickles Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's a collection of stories with a rather unusual theme. Mexico isn't just the place where the action takes place in these tales. Rather, it's as if Mexico - sunny, exotic, mysterious and occasionally slightly dangerous - is yet another character in each of the tales. There are 18 stories here, by authors such as Stephen Crane, Jack Kerouac, Anaís Nin, Tennessee Williams, Patricia Highsmith and Graham Greene. With those kinds of names you can at least rely on the pedigree of the material. read more

Strange Pilgrims: Twelve Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The stories almost all seem to deal with Latin Americans travelling to Europe for one reason or another. read more

Gringos by Charles Portis Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The story concerns Jimmy Burns who has gone to live in Mexico. He's a most unmemorable character. Jimmy maintains himself doing odd jobs, buying and selling artifacts and working with people on archeological projects in various parts of the country. He runs into many characters throughout the novel. read more

A Chance to See Egypt by Sandra Scofield Reviewed by Allan Cogan

My spies tell me that author Scofield used to live in Ajijic and that Lago de Luz, the setting for her novel, is in fact Ajijic. If so, here’s her description of the village: "Lago de Luz, on the altiplano far from the sea, where it is neither hot nor cold, boasts no buildings higher than two stories, and no slick discos. It is rather a sleepy place, swollen on weekends when musicians and vendors make the plaza festive for the tourists in from the nearby city. Resident Americans and Canadians make their own social life in their suburban enclaves and trailer parks, their apartments and houses, halls and meeting rooms. The Lakeside Society is the hub of activity, the place where everyone crosses, but there are many diversions: Elk Clubs, Rotarians, Veterans Clubs, Red Cross and all the interest groups, for cards and dominoes and self-improvement. " read more

Puerto Vallarta Squeeze Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's a rather odd novel from the author of "The Bridges of Madison Country" and "Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend". I've always thought of Waller as a writer of romances, going only by the titles of his books. This one, however, is a quite suspenseful "chase" story - complete with a rather bloody ending - as well as being a travelogue of at least one area of Mexico. The two leading characters are rather unlikely people to be involved in such a tale. read more
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