Luis Montez
Created by Manuel Ramos

Speaking of books set in Denver, don't miss Manuel Ramos' excellent books about LUIS MONTEZ, a well-meaning but down-on-his-luck Chicano lawyer fighting a losing battle against middle age and crime and his ideals. He studied law during the Chicano Movement, and admires political activism, but is conscious of its excesses.

In much the same way, in fact, as he reveres and is conscious of his own sexual prowess and its limitations. Montez may be on the outs, but he clings ferociously to his ideals, a mental holdover from his early days as an activist.

He's one of the "more likeable losers in the mystery genre," according to e-mail correspondant PatZ. And, for what is often quite a hard-boiled series, Luis has a particularly warm relationship with his elderly father. All in all, Ramos brings a distintinctive and passionate voice to the genre, one well worth hearing.

Manuel Ramos is a lawyer for the Denver Legal Aid Society and teaches Chicano literature at the Metropolitain state College of Denver. Ramos' first novel, The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz, was nominated for a best-first-novel Edgar. He's also written one novel about private eye Danny "Moony" Mora.




Respectfully submitted by Susan Sotelo, from the University of Arizona, who's doing research on the Chicano detective novel, and Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to PatZ for the heads-up.

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