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The Last King of Texas


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Rick Riordan is the author of six previous Tres Navarre novels--Big Red Tequila, winner of the Shamus and Anthony Awards; The Widower's Two-Step, winner of the Edgar Award; The Last King of Texas; The Devil Went Down to Austin; Southtown; and Mission Road. He is also the author of the acclaimed thriller Cold Springs and the young adult novel The Lightning Thief. Rick Riordan lives with his family in San Antonio, Texas.


In a terrific sequel to The Widower's Two-Step, which won the 1999 Edgar for Best Original Paperback, the third Tres Navarre mystery finds the academic-turned-PI reluctant to accept a chair in medieval studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a chair whose last two tenants have met with violent deaths. But when a bomb goes off in the dean's office nearly killing him and two others, he instantly accepts the assignment. Tres quickly finds out that the second victim's father, Jeremiah Brandon, a ruthless amusement-park ride manufacturer known as the "King of the Carnivals," was also murdered years before. The prime suspect then was Jeremiah's former employee, gang member Zeta Sanchez, who believed that the predatory Jeremiah was sleeping with his wife, but Sanchez was never apprehended. Suddenly it is reported that, after years on the run (and in a Mexican jail), he has been spotted in the region. Tagging along with the San Antonio police, Tres finds himself in the middle of a violent shoot-out during which Sanchez is arrested; now he is also the number one suspect in the murder of Jeremiah's son. Not surprisingly, Sanchez vigorously protests his innocence. All this happens in just the first 40 pages of this fast-paced and highly entertaining novel, as Tres finds himself drawn into the complex vortex of the Brandon family's ugly past. With the help of beautiful yet tough homicide detective Ana DeLeon (a potential romantic interest) and other, less than savory, friends from the wrong side of the law, the wisecracking Tres untangles an intricate web of murderous family rivalries, missing persons and heroin traffic--all the while evoking with bright color the interplay of San Antonio's Latino and Anglo cultures and the joys of Tex-Mex cuisine. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Jackson "Tres" Navarre, San Antonio P.I. and Berkeley Ph.D., returns in this third and, so far, best installment of a promising series (following Big Red Tequila and Widower's Two-Step). Here, Tres is allowed to indulge in both of his career interests. After a controversial professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio is murdered, Tres takes his place and investigates while attempting to prove himself as a teacher. Not surprisingly, the explanation behind the murder is not as simple as it first appears. Riordan weaves a tight tale, capturing the spirit of south Texas and imbuing Tres with his own peculiar flavor--evidence that his style is maturing. This is certain to please fans of the first two Navarre novels and win new ones as well. Recommended for popular fiction collections.--Craig L. Shufelt, Lane P.L., Hamilton, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"Raise your margarita to Rick Riordan.... This tale of revenge and remorse sizzles and skids like drops of water on a hot skillet."--Texas Monthly

"Starts off with a literal bang and then gathers speed from there."--Entertainment Weekly "If not the king of Texas crime writing, Rick Riordan is certainly among the princes in a royal family that already includes James Lee Burke."-- Denver Post "Riordan writes so well about the people and topography of his Texas hometown that he quickly marks the territory as his own."--Chicago Tribune

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