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Carreta de La Muerte: A Taos Festival Mystery Hardcover – Apr 15 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; Bilingual edition (April 15 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890208574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890208578
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 467 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,717,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Christina Garcia y Grant, the heroine of Mari Ulmer's debut mystery Midnight at the Camposanto, is a multifaceted woman. She is formerly a lawyer, presently the proprietress of a charming bed and breakfast, and a hopeful author. She's also a young widow with her eye on a retired doctor who came to Christy's B&B on a sentimental journey (he and his late wife were frequent visitors before her death) and stayed on.

Christy's second, relatively bloodless, adventure begins with the disappearance of a young woman who is a gallery assistant and the discovery of a body during the height of the annual Taos Fiesta, which figures prominently in the story. While Ulmer's gifts at describing the magnificent New Mexico landscape, the multiethnic milieu, and the cultures and norms of Anglo, Spanish, and Mexican society are impressive, the pacing, drama, and suspense aren't yet quite as well developed. The mystery is less the centerpiece than the side dish of this nonetheless appetizing entrée. Fans of Tony Hillerman and other writers who've made this territory their own will be intrigued. --Jane Adams

From Library Journal

Author/lawyer/sleuth Christina Garcia y Grant tackles her second murder case, surrounded by familiar faces from Midnight at the Camposanto. Dr. Evelyn Bottoms, a charming newcomer to Taos (and self-proclaimed "recoverer" of local Spanish religious art) becomes a suspect when one of the employees at his gallery/museum is found murdered and another goes missing possibly with some sacred art. Christy defends Bottoms, whose attentions arouse jealousy in her tenant, Mac, who helps out at Christy's bed-and-breakfast hacienda. Exuberant descriptions of the changing indigenous culture, local characters, and New Mexico surroundings pervade an exciting plot. Recommended where Southwestern mysteries are popular.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
After her husband died, attorney Christina Garcia y Grant returns to her hometown of Talpa, New Mexico just south of Taos. Talpa is a small community where crime rarely happens and Catholicism is firmly rooted. At times there is a feeling of the mystical in the air. Christy, tired of the law, turns her grandmother's hacienda into a bed and breakfast inn that is gaining in popularity.

While the townsfolk prepare for Las Fiestas holiday, a clever thief systematically steals valuable artifacts from the local churches. Further complicating matters, someone burglarizes a gallery killing an employ with another missing, the girlfriend of Christy's protege. The B&B owner and her close friends begin their brand of sleuthing in hopes of stopping a crime spree but mostly saving the life of an innocent.

Mari Ulmer creates a story line that often reads like a ballad even though the tale is a regional mystery. The culture of an old fashioned town vividly comes to life in CARRETA DE LA MUERTE. Readers will admire the characters that star in this fresh and unusual series. There are some books that are so memorable they are unforgettable and this is one of them.

Harriet Klausner
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By A Customer on April 3 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you like Tony Hillerman's books; you will love these. Mari Ulmer has created an unique series of mysteries set during the feast and festival days of Taos, New Mexico. Her heroine and hero and engaging and fun. The book leaves you feeling like you just spent two wonderful weeks in Taos actually taking part in the festival; standing in the plaza in the hot sun, eating fried onions and peppers, following the parade into the quiet, dusky confines of the church.
Along the way, you dine with the residents, visit all the historic places and stay in the local bed and breakfast, a wonderful old haceinda. This is a terrific new author and I can't wait for the next book.
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By A Customer on May 22 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the second highly readable book in Mari Ulmer's murder mystery series set in Taos, NM. The book is rich in atmosphere and abounds with colorful characters from Taos's unique blend of Spanish, Native American, and Anglo cultures. Featured are: a reluctant sleuth who would rather be writing fiction than solving mysteries; a pair of foppish art dealers who are mysteriously poisoned; a suspicious entrepreneur; a corrupt archivist; and many more characters. The plot has a surprise twist that will astonish even the most jaded readers.
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Format: Hardcover
Though the backdrop of Taos supplies much that is rich and rewarding, getting through this book is more like wading through slush. It needs tighter editing and stronger writing. We don't find out much about characters from their behavior; the author supplies all that stuff. We get lots of details about meals and wearing apparel, but it has nothing to do with the nominal plot. One can be optimistic and look forward to increasing strength in the writing with future books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A regional mystery that is fantastic Feb. 15 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After her husband died, attorney Christina Garcia y Grant returns to her hometown of Talpa, New Mexico just south of Taos. Talpa is a small community where crime rarely happens and Catholicism is firmly rooted. At times there is a feeling of the mystical in the air. Christy, tired of the law, turns her grandmother's hacienda into a bed and breakfast inn that is gaining in popularity.

While the townsfolk prepare for Las Fiestas holiday, a clever thief systematically steals valuable artifacts from the local churches. Further complicating matters, someone burglarizes a gallery killing an employ with another missing, the girlfriend of Christy's protege. The B&B owner and her close friends begin their brand of sleuthing in hopes of stopping a crime spree but mostly saving the life of an innocent.

Mari Ulmer creates a story line that often reads like a ballad even though the tale is a regional mystery. The culture of an old fashioned town vividly comes to life in CARRETA DE LA MUERTE. Readers will admire the characters that star in this fresh and unusual series. There are some books that are so memorable they are unforgettable and this is one of them.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Must Buy for all Mystery Readers April 3 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you like Tony Hillerman's books; you will love these. Mari Ulmer has created an unique series of mysteries set during the feast and festival days of Taos, New Mexico. Her heroine and hero and engaging and fun. The book leaves you feeling like you just spent two wonderful weeks in Taos actually taking part in the festival; standing in the plaza in the hot sun, eating fried onions and peppers, following the parade into the quiet, dusky confines of the church.
Along the way, you dine with the residents, visit all the historic places and stay in the local bed and breakfast, a wonderful old haceinda. This is a terrific new author and I can't wait for the next book.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Murder and intrigue in Taos May 22 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the second highly readable book in Mari Ulmer's murder mystery series set in Taos, NM. The book is rich in atmosphere and abounds with colorful characters from Taos's unique blend of Spanish, Native American, and Anglo cultures. Featured are: a reluctant sleuth who would rather be writing fiction than solving mysteries; a pair of foppish art dealers who are mysteriously poisoned; a suspicious entrepreneur; a corrupt archivist; and many more characters. The plot has a surprise twist that will astonish even the most jaded readers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
surprise Jan. 22 2005
By michael saitta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Surprise - this is a good book. I didn't like Mari's first book very much. I only brought it because I collect books on New Mexico. I thought it was slow and she needed a good editor. She found one. This book I bought almost out of curiosity and am glad I did. CARRETA moves along at a much faster clip but still doesn't loose the ambience the author is after. I guess the best recommendation is that I'm looking forward to the next one. Ms. Ulmer did a good job this time. Good for her. To buyers: I don't know Mari Ulmer and have no need to push any of her books. I live in Laguna Beach, not Taos.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Slush in the desert Dec 6 2001
By Jim Wickman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Though the backdrop of Taos supplies much that is rich and rewarding, getting through this book is more like wading through slush. It needs tighter editing and stronger writing. We don't find out much about characters from their behavior; the author supplies all that stuff. We get lots of details about meals and wearing apparel, but it has nothing to do with the nominal plot. One can be optimistic and look forward to increasing strength in the writing with future books.


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