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Captive Arizona, 1851-1900
By Victoria Smith. University of Nebraska Press. 294 pp. Index. $40.00.
The five decades covered by Smith fill most of the years between the end of the Mexican-American War and Arizona statehood. Years of social movement and turmoil as settlers, mostly Anglos, arrived in growing numbers each year and the Native Americans as well as Mexican citizens felt over-run and threatened as never before. Smith’s survey is more expository than evaluative as she provides narrative re-tellings of some well- known cases (e.g., the Oatman children and Larcena Pennington) as well as accounts not often considered in this category (e.g., Geronimo and Apache May), as their captivity was by members of what we now call the dominate culture. []

Cat in a Topaz Tango
By Carole Nelson Douglas. Forge. 413 pp. $24.99.

Feline detective Midnight Louie must solve a murder at a week-long celebrity dance event in Las Vegas.
Celebrating El Paso
By Mark Paulda. TCU Press. 120 pp. $29.95.
If you scan this book of more than 150 color photos, most of them full-page size, you may not notice at first that El Paso and environs appears to have no people—well… it can’t be true but there are none to be seen here!

Chaco and After in the Northern San Juan: Excavations at the Bluff Great House
By Catherine M. Cameron. University of Arizona Press. 280 pp. Index. Appendices included on compact disk.. $75.00.
Chaco Canyon, northwest New Mexico, became a major center of ancestral puebloan culture thriving about 1,000 years ago. In addition to monumental Pueblo Bonito, the canyon was home to other "great houses" as they came to be called. Ultimately, over 200 centers containing great houses are built in numerous sites in the San Juan basin. Great houses were pre-planned multi-storied public buildings with distinctive masonry, formal earthen architecture,and a great kiva. Archaeologists continue their interest in the Bluff site in southeast Utah with a detailed,comparative study of relationships with those in Chaco Canyon. Appendices on CD-ROM contain detailed descriptions of hundreds of artifacts recovered at the site. []
Cameron and nine others make this a solid contribution to southwestern archaeology relating to sites occupied in the 11th and 12th centuries. Intended, of course, for other archaeologists, the writing is both technical and filled with references to professional literature. But Cameron is an excellent writer making short sections of summaries and conclusions easy to comprehend. In a pocket at the back of the book is a CD with images of ceramics, projectile points, bone tools, etc. excavated at the site. As is pointed out in various places in the text, the certainty of a close cultural connection between Chaco Canyon (northwestern New Mexico) and Great Bluff House (southeastern Utah) is still being debated by archaeologists. []

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid
By Xavier Garza. Cinco Puntos Press. $17.95.

Little Vincent tags along as Tio Pancho (aka Charro Claus) helps his cousin Santa deliver presents along the Rio Grande.
Chasing Geronimo: The Journal of Leonard Wood, May-September 1886
By Jack C. Lane, Leonard Wood. University of Nebraska Press. 172 pp. Index. $14.95.

The only diary of the Army's last campaign against Apache Chief Geronimo, kept by a doctor who received the Medal of Honor for his service in the expedition.
Chicana and Chicano art: ProtestArte
By Carlos Francisco Jackson. University of Arizona Press. 256 pp. Index. $17.95.
Quite a wonderful survey and summary of an extremely diverse topic. Jackson covers everything from sweeping movements such as a section labeled “Chicano Nationalism and Pre-Columbian Culture” to detailed descriptions such as a section labeled “Taller de Grafica Popular”. The illustrations (there are 43 of them, which is an absolute minimum) are all in small (meaning much smaller than page-size) black and white thus give no true sense of the glorious colors of the originals; too bad. On the other hand, lots of color would drive the price way-up and with its sections of “discussion questions” and “reading lists” this is obviously aimed at a student market. []

Church of the Old Mermaids
By Kim Antieau. Ruby Rose's Fairy Tale Emporium. 289 pp. $15.00.
Myla Alvarez is a little spacey. She sells “found things” mostly from Tucson’s dry washes and riverbeds, displaying them on a card table on 4th Avenue. And she has a secret life harboring illegal border-crossers in a house which she calls the Church of the Old Mermaids, named for the mermaids she believes once lived on the vast inland sea that is now the desert. Somewhat kooky, yes, but Antieau has good control of dialog, and the events move along at their own speed and with their own logic. []

Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers
By Thomas Cech, P. Andrew Jones. University Press of Colorado. 276 pp. Index. $26.95.

Discusses the unique aspects of Colorado water law in layman's terms, and identifies issues of future importance.
Comb Ridge and its People: the Ethnohistory of a Rock
By Robert S. McPherson. Utah State University Press. 252 pp. Index. $26.95.
A unique geological feature spanning southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona, Comb Ridge is a jagged monocline 100 miles long that presents sheer Navajo Sandstone cliffs up to 200 feet high on its western face and highly eroded fractured gullies on its eastern slopes. The huge, bent, folded, faulted and eroded rock formation is both a striking barrier to travel and a complex sheltering warren of protective micro environments. Archeological studies have revealed a record of habitation going back to the paleo-Indians of 12,000 BC. This is an exploration of this unusual geographical feature and its effects over time on the region and its people, from those remote beginnings to the present. The author is a historian of the region who also lives there and is very familiar with his subject and locale. While it is based on a federally sponsored five-year study and very well researched, the book is written for popular audiences and beautifully illustrated with striking photographs. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the region and its history. []

An exploration of a unique and imposing geological feature in southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona, a huge monocline 100 miles long that presents jagged sheer cliffs 200 feet high on its western face, and its effects on the region.
Common Kingsnakes: A Natural History of Lampropeltis getula
By , Brian Hubbs. Tricolor Books. 436 pp. $60.00.
I love books by passionate people who devote their lives to arcane studies. This book by Brian Hubbs fills that bill, for he has assembled a virtual library of information about common kingsnakes that range across the lower USA from coast to coast, including much of the Southwest. If you are seeking information on kingsnake habitat, biology, subspecies and morphs, regional differences, rearing, or finding, this is your book. The many (560-some!) color and B/W photos are excellent. It even comes with a dose of enthusiasm and camaraderie. Hubbs has been part of a large community of herpetologists and amateur observers for 25 years. Long live kingsnakes and authors like Hubbs! []

Conflict and Commerce on the Rio Grande: Laredo, 1755-1955
By John A. Adams. Texas A&M University Press. 286 pp. Index. $29.95.
Filled to the brim with tables, glossary,photographs, maps, and extensive notes along with a comprehensive bibliography, the volume details the business history of Laredo. Texas' second oldest town was strategically located on the Rio Grande ultimately to become a primary inland port for trade and commerce. The book will mainly be enjoyed by academics []

Conflict on the Rio Grande: Water and the Law, 1879-1939
By Douglas R. Littlefield. University of Oklahoma Press. 312 pp. Index. $39.95.
Newcomers to Western American water law have every right to scratch their heads at the apparent lack of reason and logic as well as what seems to be purposeful lack of clarity. The conundrum only deepens when it comes to the laws governing U. S. relations with Mexico, vis a vis water, that are largely governed by decisions made on the Rio Grande. Douglas Littlefield's book explains early interstate and international water-apportionment conflicts that shaped the institutions whose general outlines remain the same today. This book should be of interest to environmental historians, water scholars, and others who like their reading about water detailed, complex, and without happy endings.

Connections: a Visual Journal
By Ford Robbins. Red Mountain Press. 95 pp. $44.95.

A wordless collection of black-and-white photographs of largely southwestern scenes.
Cool Plants for Hot Gardens
By Greg Starr. Rio Nuevo Publishers. 328 pp. Index. $24.85 (pbk).
Gregg Starr freely admits that his hobby has gone wild. For three decades he and a posse of hard-core plantsmen have scouted and touted wild native plants for town gardens. These nursery-men collect a few wild seeds or cuttings and then nurture and “tame” them into viable landscape plants for Southwest homes and offices. This book is a colorful catalogue of what’s possible. Using arid-land plants from the Southwest, and a few from Africa and Australia, yards go from drab to fun, as well as provide habitat for native wildlife. This book lets the reader interview over 200 plant-candidates for home planting. The text, clear and instructive, ranges from how to identify plants to how to keep them alive, and the plants themselves range from A to Z, Abutilon palmeri, a golden-flowered fuzzy-leafed favorite to Zinnia grandiflora, a wild zinnia that lends cheer much of the year. Everyone from the advanced gardener to the desert newcomer will enjoy this one. []

Court-Martial of Apache Kid, the Renegade of Renegades
By Clare V. McKanna. Texas Tech University Press. 256 pp. Index. $29.95.
McKanna utilizes the transcript of the 1888 court-martial of Apache Kid, an Indian scout tried for desertion and mutiny, to examine the wokings of the military and civil justice systems as they applied to Native Americans in territorial Arizona. Although directed primarily at scholars, this study sheds new light on one of the Southwest's enduring legends, while also measuring the tragic consequences of legal confusion and cultural misunderstanding. []

Cowboy Park: Steer-Roping Contests on the Border
By John O. Baxter. Texas Tech University Press. 236 pp. Index. $24.95.
Baxter shines a light into an overlooked corner of borderlands' culture in this meticulous history of the 1907-1912 cowboy competitions staged in Juarez, Mexico. Inaugurated after Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona oulawed steer-roping, these contests drew hundreds of spectators to watch world-class ropers vie for prize money at the Cowboy Park arena. Baxter makes a strong case that champions like Clay McGonigle, Joe Gardner, and others spread the seeds of modern-day rodeo to South America, Canada, and points in between Dozens of rare photographs capture the excitement of the sport and the faces of these colorful pioneers. []

Creed of Violence, The
By Boston Teran. Counterpoint. 260 pp. $25.00.
It’s 1910. What would become the Mexican Revolution is just heating up. Agent John Lourdes (not his birth name) of the recently organized Bureau of Investigation is working undercover in El Paso. When he becomes involved in relaying a truck load of German -manufactured weapons it becomes clear that the “salesman” known as Rawbone is none other than the father who abandoned him at birth. Rousing tale of intrigue, double-cross, triple-cross and international politics. Not nearly so prosaic as this short review might make it sound: Teran writes good believable dialog and moves the story along at break-neck speed. []

Cricket in the Web: the 1949 Unsolved Murder that Unraveled Politics in New Mexico
By Paula Moore. University of New Mexico Press. 215 pp. Index. $18.95.

Details the evidence from the 1949 investigation into the murder of Las Cruces resident, Ovida "Cricket" Coogler, and discusses the ramifications of the case.
Criminal Justice in Native America
By Marianne O. Nielsen, Robert A. Silverman. University of Arizona Press. 256 pp. Index. $34.95.
The 14 chapters in this book range broadly across topics such as patterns of Native American crime, juvenile criminal justice and the jurisdictional jungle. There are elements related to southwestern Native Americans throughout, but this is not a regional book, but a sourcebook for students interested in the general topic of its title. []

Critical Mass
By Whitley Streiber. Forge. 301 pp. $24.95.
Radioactive South Texas border crossers and the nuclear destruction of Las Vegas set in motion this fast-paced thriller that pits a CIA operative and his Muslim wife against a world-wide terrorist network that has infiltrated the highest levels of government and threatens to destroy western civilization. It's a tribute to Stieber's fertile imagination that this apocalyptic fantasy seems almost plausible. []

Crossers: A Novel
By Philip Caputo. Alfred A. Knopf. 448 pp. $26.95.
Past and present collide in this gritty borderlands novel. A successful Wall Street executive grieving for his wife killed in the 9/ll terrorist attacks seeks peace on his family's ranch outside Patagonia, Arizona. Instead, he encounters a hauntingly beautiful landscape scarred by violence. Caputo creates an unforgettable portrait of the new west, peopled by old-time ranchers and modern-day drug runners, where right and wrong are seldom obvious and where necessity calls the shots. His riveting tale has the chilling ring of truth. []
Beginning in Lochiel before the Mexican Revolution Caputo opens a vista for understanding the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. In today’s world Gil Castle, who has lost his wife in the 9/11 disaster, tries to escape his mental misery by moving into a cabin on the border ranch of a distant relative. Naturally there are illegal border crossers to contend with, but one severely desperate one becomes a way to get back in touch with humanity. Alternately, Caputo spans the 20th century in the form of a transcript of a memoir from 1966 stored in the Arizona Historical Society. Believe me, not all the bad guys on the border are modern drug runners and people smugglers. Smoothly written, the connections from past to present and culture to culture are insightful and exciting.

Crossing Borders with the Santo Niño de Atocha
By Juan Javier Pescador. University of New Mexico Press. 280 pp. Index. $34.95.

Growing up in Zacatecas (he now teaches at Michigan State) Pescador remembers annual visits to the shrine known as Nuestra Senora de Atocha: a stature of the Virgin Mary holding the Santo Nino in her hand. Here he recounts what his research has revealed about the history/culture of this image beginning in Spain in the early 16th century.
Cruel Intent
By J.A. Jance. Simon & Schuster. 339 pp. $25.95.
(fiction) Ali is working on renovating the home she inherited, but trouble seeks her out again. When the wife of her general contractor is murdered, he becomes suspect #1. Thinking he is innocent, Ali sets out to follow a lead. The wife had joined, a website membership organization catering to married people who want to play around. After she logs onto the site, her computer security contractor, a former hacker, advises her that she ended up with a trojan that can track her every keystroke and open the door to her computer and email. When Ali asks him to take countermeasures, neither of them realize what the extent of the consequences might be. []

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