"Gives a good taste of border life"
The border land adjacent to both sides of the Rio Grande
has its own rhythm, culture, and language that sets it
apart from the rest of both countries. Texanna Jones
operates a trading post two miles west of Polo, a small
hamlet of hundred and twenty-five people. She has lived
there all her life and is part of the community that took
part in the filming of Pancho, a movie about the 1917 raid
of the Moore Ranch by Villa and his followers. To add
authenticity to the film, the director hired former Villa
follower Jacinto Trejo on as a consultant. Trejo was
killed shortly before the movie ended.
Now an independent video producer is creating a PBS special
celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the movie. The
male lead in Pancho is a big hit in a TV sitcom, hence the
PBS special. Texanna is leasing land to the moviemakers
and the trading post is the center of operations. At the
beginning of the production, the RV of the male lead blows
up and nobody is sure whether it is an accident or arson.
A young boy goes missing and Texanna finds out that her
mother and Trejo were lovers before he was killed. Texanna
is unable to let past secrets stay buried and is
determined, for her mother's sake, to find out who killed
Trejo, but somebody wants past secrets to stay hidden.
DEATH OF THE LAST VILLISTA is much more than a mystery; it
is a glimpse into a subculture that is a part of yet
separate from the rest of the United States and Mexico.
The characters give the novel atmosphere and a sense of
what it is like living on the border. Allana Martin has
created a novel that has depth yet remains very
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 6, 2001