It’s Cinco de Mayo again, folks! This mostly Mexican holiday commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, during which the Mexican military defeated a much-better-equipped contingent of French invaders. (The French tried again a year later, and won, but their 1862 routing at least gave the Mexicans a brief morale boost in their efforts to fend off foreign conquerors.) Most Americans, though happy to celebrate this occasion with tequila shots and the donning of sombreros, don’t really know what Cinco de Mayo is all about, usually confusing it with Mexican Independence Day.
But no matter how you understand Cinco de Mayo, it provides a good reason to sample mystery yarns set around the holiday, as well as works by prominent Mexican crime-fictionists. Janet Rudolph offers a few reading suggestions in Mystery Fanfare.