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Cover of Hit List co-edited by Liz Martinez
March 2009
Arte Publico Press

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Hit List

The Best of Latino Mystery
Edited by: 
Sarah Cortez
Liz Martínez

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.


Liz "Bootsie" Martínez is a PhD student in linguistics and applied linguistics at Arizona State University.

Praise for this book

"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 cafe."

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