Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery
This first-ever collection of short mystery fiction by Latino authors contains both stylistically and ethnically diverse stories.
Edited by Sarah Cortez and Liz Martínez
Published: March 31, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
In Lucha Corpi’s story, “Hollow Point at the Synapses,” her unique narrator—a bullet—describes the instant before killing a young Peruvian woman: “I feel the pull of the hammer. The pressure mounts. I am now in place. The moment is upon me. Swiftly and efficiently, I will do what I must, what I was created for. In an instant, I am off, traveling at a speed reserved only for death.”
This groundbreaking anthology of short fiction by Latino mystery writers, Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, features an intriguing and unpredictable cast of sleuths, murderers and crime victims. Reflecting the authors’—and society’s—preoccupation with identity, self, and territory, the stories run the gamut of the mystery genre, from traditional to noir, from the private investigator to the police procedural, and even a “chick lit” mystery.
“The Right Profile” features a Miami private investigator who goes undercover to prove a deadbeat father can pay child support, and she delights in testifying against him in court. In “The Skull of Pancho Villa,” someone has stolen the family heirloom and it’s up to Gus Corral to get it back. And in “A New York Chicano,” a successful bachelor from El Paso—a graduate of NYU working for Merrill Lynch in Manhattan—gets his revenge against a xenophobic newscaster.
Hit List collects for the first time short fiction by many of the Latino authors who have been pioneers in the mystery genre, using it to showcase their unique cultures, neighborhoods and realities. Contributors include award-winning writers such as Carolina García-Aguilera, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Rolando Hinojosa, Manuel Ramos and Sergio Troncoso, as well as emerging writers who deserve more recognition.
“These works of short fiction…are noteworthy for their meticulous structure, complex characters and concise and unpredictable plots. …a collection that is ideal for reading on the metro or at the beach or café.”—Latin American Herald Tribune
“Editors Sarah Cortez and Liz Martínez have succeeded in bringing together some of the best mystery fiction being written today. …Suffice it to say that the stories in Hit List will engross, entertain and fully satisfy any lover of mystery fiction.”—El Paso Times
“Hit List is compiled of 17 genre-busting stories, some of them tender, some of them brutal, all of them offering an intriguing Latino slant on our favorite genre.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
A defining characteristic in SARAH CORTEZ’s writing is the influence of Houston, Texas. Cortez feels deeply proud of being a Houstonian and the “anything goes” attitude she finds in the city, which, to her, reflect an important component of both the entrepreneurial and artistic atmosphere of the city. Cortez’s most recent works include a mixed-genre memoir, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston (Texas Review Press, 2012), and an essay collection she edited with Sergio Troncoso, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence (Arte Público Press, March 2013).
Cortez has been a police officer since 1993. She is co-editor of the crime literary journal, Lineup: Poems on Crime, and serves as the national treasurer for the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She lives and works in Houston as a freelance editor and writer. Her writing brings her French, Comanche, Spanish, and Mexican blood to the page.
Learn more at poetacortez.com.
LIZ MARTÍNEZ, a New York State investigator, has published short stories in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Manhattan Noir (Akashic Books, 2006) and Police Officer’s Quarterly. She lives and works in New York City.