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Milagro Lane book coverMilagro Lane

by Jay Brandon

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Paperback with French flaps, 254 pages

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ePub ISBN: 978-1-60940-057-6
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-60940-058-3
Library PDF ISBN: 978-1-60940-059-0

Above: Jay Brandon reads from Milagro Lane at the 2010 San Antonio Luminaria. Video by Public Studio.

San Antonio. Hundreds of books--fiction, art, history, poetry--have been set in this magical city. More than a few of them are by Jay Brandon, whose award-winning crime novels have explored the city from the inner workings of City Hall and the courts to the darkest corners of its seediest back alleys. In Milagro Lane, Brandon unravels a different sort of mystery. He's after the soul of San Antonio.

In Brandon's San Antonio, races and ethnic groups blend easily, but someone from wealthy Olmos Park can spend a lifetime without ever visiting the city's poor west side. Estela Valenzuela, though, bridges all worlds. When Estela appears at the funeral of the scion of one of the oldest, richest families in town, she is a mystery--an apparent stranger who seems to know everyone. Gabe Grohman, the son of the deceased, is fascinated by her. Through Estela he discovers parts of the city he never knew, even a part that doesn't exist: Milagro Lane, a street of mind where one can only go in rare, fulfilling moments. Estela, whom one critic called a "mystic warrior princess," holds many answers but is looking for more. Her search unveils whole worlds within one city.

Milagro Lane first appeared as a serialized novel in the San Antonio Express-News. It was written in "real time," weaving in references to events in the news and numerous living persons. It was a year-long talk-of-the-town. Rick Casey, editor of the series in the Express-News and a columnist for the paper, describes one such anecdote: "My greatest pleasure was putting into Jay's capable hands some material I had gathered that no competent libel lawyer would let me put into my column. The best example is the chapter titled 'How to Bribe a Councilman.' I had learned the details of an actual bribe, but couldn't publish them without violating my pledge not to expose my source. But here at last I was able to get the details into print. It was an example of the old saw that fiction can tell truths that journalism coughs on. In that chapter, how the deal went down, the venues at which the terms were laid out and the cash that changed hands, and even some of the dialogue, came from a real bribe paid to a real councilman. Only the names were changed, to protect the guilty. The morning the chapter was published I fantasized the politician reading it and saying to himself, 'Holy shit! They know!' In reality, I have no reason to believe the miscreant ever read anything that didn't have pictures."

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Buy This Book : $17.95

ISBN 9780916727574
US $17.95
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