Chasing Pancho Villa
Review: Chasing Pancho Villa, R. L. Tecklenburg's second novel, is subtitled "a story of mystery, romance, and adventure" and it is indeed each of these. It is a fictional account of an actual event, the raid by Mexican revolutionary general Francisco "Pancho" Villa into the new state of New Mexico and the unsuccessful attempt by US General John Pershing to capture him.
Europe is at war and the US, though officially neutral, is facing an armed conflict of its own with its neighbor to the south. The trade in arms and ammunition is extensive and ruthless. When Mexican General Villa accepts an arms shipment that he believes is worthless (or nearly so), he plans an attack inside the United States. US General Pershing's army vastly outnumbers their Mexican counterparts, yet he cannot seem to defeat them. Pershing orders Captain Bartlett R. James to find out who in the Army may be a spy for the enemy, and to recommend who might be recruited in the Mexican Army to spy for the US. Before he could complete his assignment, he was killed. Following an inquest by the Army, his death is ruled a suicide. His brother, Harrison James, a businessman from Chicago, doesn't believe it and makes the journey to New Mexico to do his own investigation. Harrison discovers that the desk clerk at his hotel, Maria Washington, had helped his brother and she is now willing to help him as well. With her help, and that of her brother, Harrison begins a dangerous journey that ultimately includes a brush with a German national who supports Mexico and a surprising link to his company in Chicago that may be involved with stolen arms.
Chasing Pancho Villa is a fast reading, truly interesting story. The combination of history with the fictional story is done very well and is reminiscent of movies from the 1930s through the 1960s featuring this very colorful character.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Chasing Pancho Villa.
Acknowledgment: R. L. Tecklenburg provided a copy of Chasing Pancho Villa for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Chasing Pancho Villa: New Mexico, Mexico
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Chasing Pancho Villa by R. L. Tecklenburg
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $21.95