An anthology of eleven stories by Latinx authors collected to raise funds for Puerto Rico.
I can’t stop talking about my love for anthologies, but I especially love a charity anthology—oh, and a charity anthology showcasing all Latinx authors? How could I possibly say no? Now, it is important to note that I am a white lady, and I don’t speak Spanish, so there are nuances to the stories that were likely completely lost on me, but these stories weren’t written for me, and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment one iota.
The foreword BAD PUERTO RICAN by editor Angel Luis Colón is purposeful and sets the tone wonderfully. By diving into the complexities of Puerto Rico, and being Puerto Rican, he lit a fire that blazes throughout the following stories.
As if that didn’t have me hyped enough from the get, the first story, THE BONES OF RIO RICO by David Bowles has brujas and Al Capone. I REPEAT, BRUJAS AND AL CAPONE!!!!!! I honestly feel like that should be all that needs said to sell anyone on this, but if you need a little bit more to truly send you—in 1928 a strong, independent widow who owns a business on the border (and is also happens to be known as ‘The Pale Witch’) goes toe to toe with gangsters to save a missing child—and it’s everything I could have wanted!
I feel bad playing favorites, but considering it’s well deserved Edgar nomination I think I get a pass, TURISTAS by Hector Acosta is my number one pick. Crossing the border has become a tourist attraction, and private investigator has been tasked with finding an American tourist who went missing on one of the tours. From the concept to the execution, this one is exceptional.
THE SUNDOWNER by Jessica Laine brings the humor, and even had me laughing out loud. Recently fired from her job, Margarita O’Neill spends her evening at The Sundowner bar, and takes an usual private investigator gig. I can’t say much more, but what I wouldn’t give for an entire series following Margarita and her telenova loving mother.
RED ZONE by Alex Segura was a big surprise for me. Following a college football player, this is exactly the kind of story that normally wouldn’t do it for me at all, but I found it so beautiful and poignant that it single handed my makes me want to be more adventurous in regards to genre.
The closing story, BORICUA OBITUARY by Cina Pelayo ends it with a bang. I feel the less you know going in is best for maximum impact. The writing is beautiful, and the ending shocking, and it’s the story I’ve seen mentioned the most—with good reason.
While I wanted to highlight these particular stories, don’t go thinking the other stories are filler—they most certainly are not, I just have to leave some room for surprise! Another thing worth pointing out is that the stories are almost a 50/50 split between men and women authors which is stunning! Between the quality of the stories, and the important cause they are supporting—you need ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS!
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