#culture

Places, customs, and dramas that create the setting of a mystery. Calling all explorers.

A Box, a Mystery Series, and Some Lacquer

She came back a moment later with a box decorated in the traditional rayada carved lacquer technique. It was the size of a loaf of bread and the bottom was fitted with a small drawer with a tiny gold knob. "This is a most special and precious item," Tifani said as she...

One Heart, Three Tragedies

Three places I love are bleeding and all I can do is watch and pray. Mexico As many readers know, my years in Mexico and Central America provided the impetus for my mystery and thriller novels and part of my heart will always be in Mexico. But the country has been...

The Ghost of Christmas Past

What if you were truly haunted by the ghost of Christmas past? Sometimes I think I might be. That First Christmas We spent our first Christmas as a married couple in a fairy tale setting. It was crisp and cold that year in Vienna, Austria. We strolled through the...

Entitlement, Mexico style

Over the last few weeks I've been following the news stories about the fate of 43 students who went missing in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in a small town not far from Acapulco, in late September. The students, from a rural teaching college, were mostly men in...

March for the Missing in Acapulco

The road has disappeared under a wave of sorrow and anger. In a case of weather mimicking emotions, it is raining and thousands are unintentionally decorated with multicolored umbrellas. The raingear doesn't hide the posters with faces of the missing. Rather, the...

3 Essential Tips for Safe Travel in Mexico

Are you travelling to Mexico but getting nervous when you read the headlines? Yes, there are security issues in Mexico, many of which I write about in the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco, but more than likely you aren't planning to travel to the...

El Chapo, Soft Power, and Dirty Faces

When I heard that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, notorious head of the Sinaloa Cartel had been arrested, two things came to mind: Monocle, the British magazine about all things cultural, and a great old James Cagney movie.Wait. This will make sense.Soft Power...

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