James Gilbert

Zona Romantica: (Softcover: $20, 176pp, 6X9”: ISBN: 978-1-68114-520-4; Hardcover: $35: ISBN: 978-1-68114-521-1; Ebook: $2.99: ISBN: 978-1-68114-522-8; Amazon Soft Cover: ISBN 979-8-596001-90-7; Kindle eBook: ASIN: B08T8GFBYG; LCCN: 2019918718; Edited by Anna J. Chavez; Release: May 19, 2020; Fiction—Mystery & Detective—Hard-Boiled; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): When Amanda Pennyworth began her assignment as American Consul in the beautiful resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, she had no inkling she would be called upon to solve the mysterious disappearance of a famous expat writer.  However, when he vanishes—the victim of a kidnapping—Amanda is drawn into the desperate search to save his life.  Negotiating the competing layers of Mexican police: the Federales, the local constabulary, and the tourist police, she is pulled deeper into what she realizes too late is a cunning and deadly plot. 

“Readers will get a keen sense of the daily (and nightly) life in the Zona Romantica (a real area in Puerto Vallarta) and of the undercurrents of Mexican politics, especially the uneasy and unequal relationship between the local police and the arrogant federales… [T]his enjoyable tale delivers the requisite red herrings while following the trail of the crime. But in the end, one of those herrings turns out not to be red at all. Who knew?… The final plot twist has in fact appeared more than once in real life. An entertaining mystery with a vibrant setting.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The layers of politics surrounding the Mexican Federales and local authorities immerses Amanda in layers of subterfuge and corruption that raise more problems than they solve about not just one man’s life, but a plot that thickens… Winds through all kinds of connections and clues as it crafts a satisfying, engaging mystery designed to keep readers moving through Mexico with Amanda, discovering clues embedded in cultural revelations and special challenges… The dash of romance added to the intrigue and historical references keeps ‘Zona Romantica’ a thoroughly inviting read, juxtaposing personal and political observations right up to an unexpected conclusion.” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

James Gilbert is a historian, educator, world traveler and novelist.  While at the University of Maryland, he published ten books about Twentieth Century America, one of them a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  He has lived and taught abroad in Paris and then with Fulbright Fellowships at universities in Sydney, Australia, Uppsala, Sweden (where he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters), Amsterdam, and Tubingen and Erfurt in Germany.  He was also a resident at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Since turning to fiction writing, he has published a book of short stories and a novel entitled, The Key Party.  He currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.


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