Big Red Tequila Mass Market Paperback – Jun 2 1997
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Rick Riordan has loaded his first mystery with lots of genre baggage: this story about a man coming home to San Antonio, Texas, to rescue his old girlfriend and solve the 12-year-old murder of his sheriff father is a virtual homage to James (The Last Good Kiss) Crumley. But Riordan writes so well about the people and topography of his hometown that he very quickly marks the territory as his own. Tres Navarre has put behind him the teenage days when he and his friend Ralph Arguello would cruise through San Antonio, drinking a ferocious mixture of cheap tequila and Big Red cream soda. A University of California Ph.D. in English plus a fascination with t'ai chi ch'uan led Tres naturally enough to work as a private investigator in San Francisco. But one call from the love of his early life--the mysterious and captivating Lillian Cambridge, now trapped in dangerous work and love relationships--and Tres gladly trades his trendy Peet's coffee for the stronger brews of home.
Winner of the 1998 Shamus Award for Best First Novel and the 1998 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original!
"A standout...A crooked construction company, corrupt cops, old enemies--you can almost feel the summer storms rolling over South Texas."
---Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
We are supposed too believe in the main character who has a PhD in English from Berkley, is an unlicensed private investigator, and a Tie Chi master. He's also broke, drunk, slovenly, mentally unstable, anti-social, and not to bright. But he has a nice cat. The supporting characters are even less believable for the most part, and just as mentally unbalanced, particularly his mother.
Also the Law Enforcement aspects to the novel are particularly weak, as a former Lawman I was not impressed.
OVERALL SCORE: (C+)
READABILITY: (B+), PLOT: (C-), CHARATERS: (B+), DIALOGUE: (B), SETTING: (A-), ACTION/COMBAT: (C-), ANTAGONISTS: (C-), ROMANCE: (B-),AGE LEVEL: (PG)
This is the first book in Rick Riordan's Tres Navarre series, and it's not only a great story in its own right, but a strong lead off for what's proven to be a high-quality and exciting series. Riordan's plots can be tangled -- lots of plot twists, and characters with complex motivations -- but this is evidence of the high quality of the writing: Riordan proves he can handle both complexity and cohesiveness. Nevertheless, this book repays a second read.
'Big Red Tequila' is filled with San Antonio atmosphere, and while it helps a little for the reader to know the city, that's not essential to understanding and enjoying the story. Personally, I find myself with a margarita-and-tortillas craving every time I read a Tres Navarre book. But then, I'm a Texan by birth. Not everyone has that advantage, so maybe not everyone will respond the same way.
What I *can* say is that I've read three of the four Tres Navarre books currently in print, and am working on the fourth now. I didn't read them in order, so I can attest that each title stands alone as an exciting and rewarding mystery novel. I didn't get drawn into this one as quickly as I did 'The Last King of Texas' (the third title in the series), but the mystery and the character development moves quickly. If you're looking for a powerfully done series with sympathetic and engaging characters, rich atmospheric detail, and 'a plot that keeps you guessing,' I strongly recommend starting here.
mysteries published to his credit. His short, action-filled sentences easily carry the reader along from one suspenseful chapter to the
next without a stumble or loss of interest.
He uses familiar words in unfamiliar association. He creates clear
pictures of the scene and characters involved. He avoids the usual cliches which become so common-place in many mysteries. There is a definite "newness" about his writing.
His Texan use of Spanish is particularly well done and faithfully
reflects the cultural ambience of the City of San Antonio. It gives better definition to memorable personalities without dressing them in masquerade costumes.
I appreciate his handling of sexual encounters. His short comments
like, "back to the satin sheets," give the reader no difficulty in
picturing the activity of the characters without a clinical,
play-by-play account. Nor do I wish to be a voyuer.
His vernacular which may seem a bit profane to some readers like
me (past 75 years), is honest and genuine and will be overheard on most every bi-cultural street in the Southwest. Of greatest importance to me, I enjoyed reading the book. Isn't that its purpose?
Most recent customer reviews
I've been a fan of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series since it began, so when I learned that prior to turning to YA novels, he had written a series of Texas... Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2012 by Alison S. Coad
Aside from the cat, there's not an original thing about Tres Navarre. Too many characters, too much plot, too little action. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2003 by T. King
For those of you who love the John D. McDonald books starring Travis McGee, let me introduce you to Tres Navarre! Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Robin C.
Riordan's debut of his series character, Tres Navarre, is a competent mystery written with evocative Texas imagery and a good sense of humor. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2001
Okay, never mind that I'm a native, although displaced, Texan. (Never mind too that I agree with Riordan there's something majestic about the wide open spaces marked by not much... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2001 by Claudia Tanseer
This is the first book in Rick Riordan's Tres Navarre series. Riordan teaches middle school English for his "day job. Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2001 by TundraBee
It's a big book...lots of pages, lots of characters, and lots of Texas lore and description. Lots of action, too...fights and bullets and druggings and cracked bones and teeth. Read morePublished on June 5 2001 by Judith Lindenau
Fans of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series are likely to find another quasi-hero to root for in the Tres Navarre series. Read morePublished on March 27 2001 by Carol Peterson Hennekens
One of the really great things about the "private eye" genre is that each author picks a particular locale for their main character to live and work in, and the reader,... Read morePublished on July 10 2000 by Wayne C. Rogers