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The Last King of Texas

Riordan, Rick

1,227 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0553801562 / ISBN 13: 9780553801569
Published by Bantam, New York, 2000
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Black Dog Mystery Firsts (Lake Stevens, WA, U.S.A.)

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SIGNED on title pg. Not clipped, no marks. Bookseller Inventory # 005420

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Last King of Texas

Publisher: Bantam, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


Tres Navarre has a passion for tequila, a Ph.D. in English literature, and a penchant for trouble. He's the smart-mouthed Texas private eye who raked in the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards. Now acclaimed author Rick Riordan fires up the accelerator in Tres Navarre's hardcover debut--a ninety-mile-an-hour thriller for fans with a taste for Spenser and Elvis Cole, spiced with habañero-hot Tex-Mex flavor.

When a controversial English professor is found dead, shot twice in the chest with a .45, Tres Navarre--P.I. and erstwhile Berkeley Ph.D.--is the only local academic crazy enough to accept the emergency opening at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Police assure Tres they already have a suspect, a stone-cold killer who's just returned from a stint in a Mexican jail and is suspected of murdering a Texas amusement-park kingpin years before. While the police wrap up the open-and-shut case, all Tres has to do is teach three classes, grade on a curve...and walk in a dead man's shoes. It should be an easy assignment.

But one thing Tres Navarre doesn't do is easy. When the evidence in the case starts looking a little too perfect, when the killing doesn't stop, Tres takes on some extracurricular research into the heart of an assassin. He quickly becomes embroiled in a nasty tangle of family secrets, backstabbing squabbles for control of a million-dollar amusement ride business, and a high-stakes game of gangster honor on the darkest streets of San Antonio's West Side. Behind it all--the specter of a murdered man who once proclaimed himself the King of the South Texas carnivals.

As fast-paced as the Texas Tornadoes, as funny as Lyle Lovett crossed with Kinky Friedman, as soulful as Willie Nelson, The Last King of Texas is an unforgettable, impossible-to-put-down whirlwind of which everyone is guilty of something.
The cops already have a suspect in the murder of Tres's predecessor at the University of Texas at San Antonio--a stone-cold killer who's spent six years in prison for murdering an amusement-park kingpin.  Now Tres takes on some extracurricular research into the heart of an assassin. Suddenly he's on a carousel-ride collision course with a killer--a one-way ticket to betrayal and death in a novel of suspense in which everyone is guilty of something.

Lean, mean, and completely lovable, Jackson "Tres" Navarre is a worthy successor to Spenser and Elvis Cole; THE LAST KING OF TEXAS is an impossible-to-put-down whirlwind of a book; and Rick Riordan is the hottest new star in the suspense firmament. -->


For his first two novels featuring PI Tres Navarre, Rick Riordan garnered the Anthony, Shamus, and Edgar Awards--a trio that few seasoned Mystery careerists can claim. In this third, equally entertaining installment, Riordan casts Navarre according to the other piece of his quirky skill set: his Ph.D. in English literature from UC Berkeley.

While the worst-case scenario envisioned by most professors at the University of Texas at San Antonio probably involves lost essays or a failed tenure bid, recently the medievalists at UTSA have wound up deader than their favorite language. At first, the deaths seemed like accidents. Dr. Theodore Haimer was forced to take an early retirement when his remarks about "the damn coddled Mexicans at UTSA" found their way into the Express-News. Shortly thereafter, the old man was discovered deceased, his head in a bowl of Apple Jacks, the result of an apparent heart attack. His successor, the young Dr. Aaron Brandon, continued to receive the vituperation and death threats that had followed his predecessor to the grave. Then, halfway into the semester, Brandon was also found dead--murdered. Now, Tres Nevarre is the only man crazy enough to fill the vacant chair of Chaucer studies and murder avoidance at the amiable institution. His first day on the job is the clincher: an exploding package leaves him both scarred and excited for the only academic job he's ever found that rivals Indiana Jones's.

Riordan's style blends the hipness of Elmore Leonard with the sardonic humor of Janet Evanovich. And like Evanovich, Riordan draws on the colorful character of his locale--in his case the twangy chili con carnage of San Antonio academic life--to pepper his narrative with a mixture of medieval literature, Tex-Mex dialogue, and Sherlock Holmesian puzzles. While there aren't many more awards for Riordan to conquer, The Last King of Texas will certainly win him some more loyal fans. --Patrick O'Kelley

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