Posts Tagged ‘Santo Gordo: A Killing in Oaxaca’

Several months ago, friend and longtime (35 years!) regular visitor to Oaxaca, Charles Kerns, asked me to write a review of his first work of fiction, Santo Gordo: A Killing in Oaxaca.

Cover of book, "Santo Gordo" by Charles Kerns

He sent it to me in June, when I was up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it proved to be the perfect reading material for my SFO –> IAH –> OAX return trip.  Once back, I mentioned Santo Gordo to friends, loaned it, got it back, only to loan it again.  With Santo Gordo again in my hot little hands and after many months of delay, today I finally posted the following review on Amazon.com.

A botana of Oaxaca

Much as it has done to Charles Kerns, Oaxaca has captured my heart and three years ago I began living an expat life there. Thus, I can assure you reading Santo Gordo: A Killing in Oaxaca, will give you a botana (a small snack) of life in Oaxaca as seen and experienced by a gringo — well, not the witnessing an assassination part!

However, first time mystery writer Kerns does offer a glimpse at an underbelly few tourists are ever aware of and many expats choose to ignore – it’s history, complexity, and expression being too much to comprehend.

Kerns has crafted a mystery where place, in this case Oaxaca, is a leading character — much as Donna Leon, with her Commissario Brunetti mysteries, has done with Venice. Kerns has captured rhythms, rituals, sweetness, dangers (treacherous sidewalks, not murders, being at the top of the list), and bewildering aspects of life in Oaxaca, all the while telling a plausible tale with a very likable main character.

Now that the review has, at long last, been written, my copy of Santo Gordo: A Killing in Oaxaca, will be donated to the Oaxaca Lending Library — as I promised Chuck many months ago.  Sorry I kept you waiting and ¡Feliz cumpleaños mi amigo!

(ps)  Check out the San Jose Mercury News interview with Chuck, Alameda writer pens Oaxaca mystery.

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