As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Pushkin Press, 9 May
2019. ISBN: 978-1-78227531-2 (PB)
(First English translation of a 1969
classic cult thriller)
Mexico City in the 1960s, and the
city is getting ready to welcome the American president when there’s a rumour
that he’s going to be assassinated during his visit. It’s been reported by
Russian agents from Outer Mongolia, and the Colonels can’t afford not to take
it seriously. They got to Filiberto Garcia, a police officer who’s still the
man they ask to kill opponents of the regime... except that Garcia soon begins
to suspect the whole Mongolia thing’s a cover for skullduggery closer to home.
with a new translation by Kathleen Silver, this noir classic is a cracking
read. The narration’s nominally third person, centred on Garcia, but it slips
in and out of the first person as we share his thoughts. He’s in his fifties,
disillusioned, foul-mouthed and haunted by his dead. He keeps himself to
himself, mixing only with the inscrutable Chinese poker players in the city’s
Chinatown, one dirty, neglected street, and with his friend ‘the professor’, a
former lawyer turned hopeless alcoholic. You warm to Garcia in spite of his
violent life because you get the feeling that deep down, unlike the politicians
he obeys, he does have a sense of justice, and his youth as a revolutionary was
motivated by conviction, not power-greed. His gentleness with the runaway
Chinese woman Marta is endearing, in spite of his annoyance with himself for
not taking her straight to bed. He’s forced to work with two agents, a Russian
and an FBI man, and these characters too are well drawn. The action’s fast, the
body count high (the colonel complains that Garcia doesn’t leave anyone alive
for him to interrogate), the plotting clever, and the atmosphere vividly claustrophobic.
dark, atmospheric treat for fans of Chandler and Hammett.
Bernal (1915-1972) was a Mexican
diplomat and the author of many novels and plays. The Mongolian Conspracy was
published in 1969 and is regarded as his masterpiece.
Marsali Taylor grew up near
Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently
a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and
two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is
fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.