St. Martin's, July 2003, 23.95, 256 pp.
The head of the United States section of the International Boundary and Water Commission Zanjiv Mehendru has made many enemies in America for his decisions favoring Mexico. In Mexico he is regarded, as a hero so when he is murdered, there is a public outcry for the judicales to catch his murderer. When Clay and Texana Jones, the owners of Texana's Trading Post and a veterinary practice go across the Mexican border to the town of Ojinaga to dine with friends at a local restaurant, Clay is arrested.
It is only later that Texana learns that her husband is believed to be the killer of Mehendru but when she goes over their records, she has proof that Clay was nowhere near Ojinaga the night the homicide occurred. The magistrate dismisses her evidence preferring that of a prostitute who insists says she saw Clay kill Mehendru. Someone politically high up wants Clay convicted and Texana must find out whom that person is if she ever wants to see her beloved husband back home with her where he belongs.
Life on the border is definitely different and La Frontera has a culture and a history different from the rest of both countries. The protagonist must work within a court system that finds a suspect guilty until proven innocent and the only way that she can free her husband is to offer up an alternative suspect. Friends on both sides of the border work together to uncover a conspiracy that is keeping an innocent man incarcerated. Allana Martin has written a culturally colorful amateur sleuth novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner