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Friday, November 30, 2012

Recommended Reading: "The Hot Country" by Robert Olen Butler.

The Hot Country is a historical thriller set in Mexico in April and May of 1914.  Mexico in 1914 is in the midst of revolution.  Its president, Victor Huerta, is violently opposed by various internal factions and leaders, such as Pancho Villa.  In addition to internal conflict, relations are tense between Mexico and the United States.  President Woodrow Wilson sent Marines to occupy the Mexican port town of Vera Cruz.  Wilson's action was in response to the arrest of nine American sailors by Mexican federal soldiers for allegedly entering a prohibited zone in the city of Tampico.

As The Hot Country begins, war correspondent Christopher (Kit) Marlowe Cobb is in Mexico covering the situation in Vera Cruz.  As a news story, the United States occupation of Vera Cruz has slowed down. Since President Wilson is not pursuing any further intrusion into Mexico, Kit Cobb is looking for stories to report for his Chicago paper.

Pancho Villa and his men.

Cobb's attention is caught by a German cargo ship anchored in the Vera Cruz port; it allegedly is carrying weapons.  He smells a story and begins to investigate.  Are the Germans, in an effort to gain allies in Mexico and harass the United States, intending to arm some faction of the combatants in the Mexican Revolution, such as Villa?  To get the story, Cobb must finesse the danger and threats posed by the Germans, spies, Mexican revolutionaries, and beautiful women.

The Hot Country is a smart and entertaining book set during an interesting period in the history of both Mexico and the United States.  I got the impression at the end of the story that this may be the first in a series featuring Kit Cobb.  If so, that's great news.  Meanwhile, check out The Hot Country for an exciting read.


  1. Dear Ms. Dixon. As usual, you hit the nail right on the head with your review. (That means I totally agree with your recommendation).I found this to be one of the 10 best books of the last five years, and I already am looking forward to reading Mr. Butler's next account of the remarkable adventures of Kit Cobb! Thank you for recommending this very enjoyable book.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Pecos Bill. I'm looking forward to another Kit Cobb adventure, too!