May 09, 2021
Zia Summer
Posted by Rudolfo Anaya

The place is Albuquerque The time is now The man is Sonny Baca, a small time private eye with big time dreams A great grandson of the fabled lawman Elfego Baca, Sonny always carries his forebear s Colt.45, but wonders if he also carries el Bisabuelo s courage While the elder Baca gained fame by ridding Old New Mexico of dangerous desperadoes, Sonny ekes out a living iThe place is Albuquerque The time is now The man is Sonny Baca, a small time private eye with big time dreams A great grandson of the fabled lawman Elfego Baca, Sonny always carries his forebear s Colt.45, but wonders if he also carries el Bisabuelo s courage While the elder Baca gained fame by ridding Old New Mexico of dangerous desperadoes, Sonny ekes out a living investigating tacky divorces and dubious insurance claims until Gloria Dominic is found murdered in the most sensational fashion Sonny is suddenly on the case with a vengeance But then Gloria was his cousin, his beloved prima, and he has made a vow to her mother and to himself to find the killer Neither flawless beauty nor marriage to a hot shot politician had protected his cousin from a ghastly end Her body had been drained of its blood, and around her novel an arcane insignia had been etched the Zia sun symbol This was no bungled break in, says forensics She knew her murderers And Sonny knows that the sign of the sun is the work of brujas, of evil witches He senses a mysterious connection between the past and present The Aztecs, he reasons, used blood to feed the sun Is Gloria s stolen blood likewise a gift to the sun Could her bodily disfigurement be linked to the cases of cattle mutilation plaguing the area Aided by his loyal girlfriend, Rita, and spurred on by the susto, the spirit, of Gloria, Sonny s search for truth leads him straight int

  • Title: Zia Summer
  • Author: Rudolfo Anaya
  • ISBN: 9780446603164
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Paperback
  • Zia Summer The place is Albuquerque The time is now The man is Sonny Baca a small time private eye with big time dreams A great grandson of the fabled lawman Elfego Baca Sonny always carries his forebear s Col

    Book Concierge

    Sonny Baca is a private investigator in Alburquerque, specializing in divorce, insurance cases and missing persons But when Gloria Dominic, wife of a prominent developer and mayoral candidate, is found murdered, her mother hires Sonny to find out who killed Gloria The police chief seems intent on blaming it on a bungled burglary, but Sonny recognizes the sign of the sun at the murder scene and knows that the zia symbol frequently marks the work of brujas evil witches This is a very atmospheric m [...]

    Amber Foxx

    A mystery with many layers, the first of Anaya s Sonny Baca novels is crime fiction and also literary fiction with mythical depths At one level, it s the story of a young private detective s search for his cousin s killer at the other level, it s the story of his spiritual development and reconnection with his traditional culture and his ancestors The story also reflects on the ecological and ethical challenges facing New Mexico as some seek to develop it and others to preserve and protect it Th [...]


    I really, really wanted to like this book Rudolofo Anaya is a highly revered author in New Mexico, so I was pleased to see that he had written a mystery series set there And the story did contain some interesting insights into Albuquerque s history and culture However, there was an awful lot of crap to wade through Yes, religion and spirituality play in important role in the lives and histories of the ethnic peoples of New Mexico But I can t stand the smug superiority with which authors seem inc [...]

    Ajith S Nair

    I have a habit of randomly picking up books from second hand book shops.This book was such a random choice.I haven t read any other books by Anaya or even heard of him.This one was not a satisfying read for me.It s a simple murder mystery told in the least interesting way possible.The pace is slow,the twists are non existent and the characters are not interesting.I liked the setting of the story in the beginning.But Anaya tries to include too many anecdotes which weigh the story down.In the end [...]


    While the story line was okay Private detective Sonny Baca is trying to solve the murder of his cousin with lots of bad guys with guns chasing him and several hilarious side characters providing relief What I really enjoyed where the descriptions of the physical, the mountains, the arroyos, the sun and the rain The infusion of culture and history about the people and the land were as much key points as Sonny 3.5


    I am a big fan of Bless Me, Ultima I m a big reader of mysteries It seems to me Anaya could have bent the PI genre a lot in new directions than just a light once over of Mexican mysticism.


    Excellent reading and learning I love the background information Anaya gives about New Mexico and its ancient peoples The whole series is well done.


    This is the first in a series of three mystery novels set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and featuring detective Sonny Baca.In this one, he investigates the chilling cult like murder of his beloved cousin, Gloria The search encompasses a power obsessed politician and his pawns, a group of militant environmentalists, the cult like followers of a mysterious man and his four wives, and some similar murders and strange cow mutilations that may or may not be related.Connecting everything is Zia, the sac [...]


    3.5 really It d be higher, but it seems almost like a serial wherein we learn some of the same things about the history of the area where private investigator Sonny Baca lives and works over and over again Of course iteration is important, and of course Sonny goes through several things over and over while fighting the first appearance of the man who is, apparently, going to be his nemesis the forces, maybe, that will be I know everyone knows Bless Me, Ultima, but I m wondering how many people h [...]


    This gave me some trouble with the southwestern Spanish realized how little I have retained from high school Still, most was understandable from context the story itself compelling The mystery is twisted and the resolution satisfactory, but the real story is about culture the main character learning about himself I found it charming and look forward to the next in the series.


    If you are not interested in the Chicano culture and imagery of New Mexico, you might get impatient waiting for the story to unfold But if you ve been there and appreciate any well written mysteries of the southwest you should enjoy the book.


    i absolutely love the way Anaya portrays the culture and traditions of the people.


    I loved reading the Sonny Baca series Wish there were .


    Set in Albuquerque, the setting, culture, and vernacular are enchanting Pun intended for NM readers Mystery with all the superstition and magic unique to the historic southwest atmosphere Plus I learned that my street Spanish that I learned MANY years ago remains camped in my head, oh dear.


    The New Mexico Anaya writes about is both heart achingly familiar I grew up there until I was 29 but now live in DC and so very alien Anaya s Sonny Baca and I are roughly the same age if I go by copyright publishing date we both love New Mexico and we both have many of the same attitudes toward Californicators and others that moved in and changed the New Mexican landscape so much Where we differ I m an Anglo woman Sonny is Chicano I grew up in the Northeast Heights Sonny lives in the North Valle [...]

    Pamela Mclaren

    In the first mystery that he has written, Rudolf Anaya has created a likable private investigator in Sonny Bacca Based in Alburquerque, he specializes in such things as missing person and divorces Then his cousin, Gloria, wife of a mayoral candidates, is found murdered Sonny s Tia blames Gloria s husband, Frank, and demands that Sonny take on the case, despite the opinions of the chief of police, her son in law and others Fortunately, Sonny has connections people willing to help him out and he t [...]


    I ve been reading a number of novels from multicultural authors I had higher expectations for this novel than was delivered There is a decent mystery, even though the subject was strange What was repeatedly reinforced right to the end is that there seemed to be a not so hidden agenda of the author to teach the reader about Mexican American history with plenty of history included of the Navajos and Pueblos The purpose seemed almost to raise the collective opinion of Mexican Americans than it was [...]


    Mystery book takes place in Alburquerque old spelling.I was surprised the the author of Bless Me, Ultima did not write beautifully in this book The plot and especially the setting were of deep interest to me, but I was somtimes jarred by what felt to me as a lack of grace in the writing Too much telling and repetition One lyrical passage that made it worth it for me spiritually.Got the book from the library Copied out the lyrical part

    Bernard Mcdonnell

    First book I read by him since Bless Me, Ultima Needles to say the murder mystery is tinged with New Mexico s imagery, symbols, and folkloric lore and brujas and brujos Anaya pulls you into a plot and unwinds a believable story filled with troubled family, wayward Dons and Donas, baseball, New Mexican food, romance, macho tendencies, and a charismatic revolutionary No turn left unstoned Am off to pick up his other novels as they should go down as smoothly as a buttered tortillas.


    This was a terrific book, and I could have easily rated it four stars Just the background setting of Albuquerque made it fun restaurants, landmarks, politics, weather, etc Generally, the characters weren t stereotyped, and the author was able to describe both their dark and light sides I also liked how curanderismo was woven in The murder mystery was plenty complex with much tension and action towards the end There are three books in the series, and I plan to read them all.


    Takes Me HomeThe language of Rudolpho Anaya takes me home to my beloved New Mexico The Spanish words he uses in conjunction with English are almost all familiar to me even though I don t speak Spanish The culture of New Mexico is well represented this way, and make me homesick for the beautiful, diverse state I grew up in.

    Jim Stevens

    A word of caution for some readers If you are only interested in the detective or who done it aspects in a mystery novel, this may not be for you But if you want a good mystery combined with a bit of the rich cultural traditions and history of the New Mexican people then I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

    Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)

    I read the sequel to this book first, since it was due back to the library first, so maybe I d have enjoyed this book had I read them in the right order, but I think Rio Grande Fall was a stronger book Still, this was a good book, and makes me wish I d moved to Albuquerque when I had the chance.


    A good mystery as it holds the reader s attention and is well constructed with clues and foreshadowing His writing, when dealing with old Nuevo Mexicano legends is lyrical, but in spite of his poetic talent, fe falls prey to too many tired descriptive cliches Not as well done as Bless Me, Ultima.

    Jeff Dickison

    Very slow going murder mystery Long stretches of boring non action between too few action scenes Full of introspection, really stupid introspection, mysticism, and the main character feeling sorry for himself Almost a total waste of time, saved slightly by the history reports of the area Not recommended.

    Ryan Mishap

    The patriarch of chicano literature attempts the mystery genre and succeeds, while attempting to inform us of his ideas about the spirituality of the mixed people s of New Mexico A good mystery wanders into magic realism, treading on the fantasy genre, but you can t help but like the slightly macho Sonny Baca and get engrossed in the story Set in the burque, which is fun.


    I like Anaya s writing style and his ability to capture people, their motivations, and their emotions In this book, Sonny, the main character, tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder of his cousin.


    This book definitely has some strengths It feels like Albuquerque and has an interesting plot But the sexuality was just too much for my tastes Despite its weaknesses, I think I liked Cactus Blood better.

    Geoffrey Nutting

    This is a mystery with New Mexico culture as a background, not magical realism you won t learn a lot about the culture itself If you want to learn about New Mexico Chicano culture, read Bless Me, Ultima.


    Typical Anaya New Mexican cultural folklore Easy read

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