Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of Lonesome Dove, said this about Cynthia's second novel, The Caballeros of Ruby, Texas, "A vivid picture of the Rio Grande Valley as it was fifty years ago... and a very good read."
The novel was a WILLA Literary Award finalist for Original Softcover Fiction.
In a small settlement near San Antonio, Texas Ranger Minute Men Troop V of Medina County suffered the loss of one of their own, not by the Indian renegades they were after, but by another Ranger in the troop. Death of a Texas Ranger is the thrilling, action-packed story of the murder of Texas Ranger John Green by Cesario Menchaca, one of three Rangers of Mexican descent under Green’s command. Immediately word spread that the killing may have been the botched outcome of a contract taken out on Menchaca’s life by the notorious Gabriel Marnoch, a local naturalist who had run up against the law himself. But was it?
Much more than just a story about a tragic frontier killing, it is the story of an era. The events leading up to the murder and Green’s son’s decades’ long quest for justice for his father’s killer exemplify the chaotic frontier society in Texas after the Civil War, a time fraught with political turmoil and cultural clashes. Amidst that chaos, the virgin landscape of Texas was a magnet to those interested in the natural sciences in the nineteenth century, an era often referred to as the Age of Darwin. The clash between the seemingly pastoral landscape with its offerings for science and the brutal history of the region ties this very readable regional history into the larger American story.
Winner of the 2015 Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award for Best Western Nonfiction
Winner of a 2015 San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award
"Massey tells a fascinating tale of murder and final retribution; a forgotten well-told tale of life in a chaotic frontier society." – Chuck Parsons, True West
"Death of a Texas Ranger reads like a Western mystery novella with a twist that you will not see coming…. [it] would make an excellent Coen brothers' movie." – K K Searle, Texas History Page
"Death of a Texas Ranger is a well-written page-turner full of local history and it's also a murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat." – Anita Porterfield, Book Editor, The Boerne Star.
"A thoroughly researched work of history that reads like a murder mystery, Death of a Texas Ranger is a true story of murder and retribution in 1870s Texas." – Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News
"Cynthia Leal Massey has provided Wild West history with an excellent treatment of a tragic event in Texas history. We all appreciate a mystery and its solution by an excellent writer. Death of a Texas Ranger is such an example, and we suspect there may be other mysteries that we hope she will solve." – Chuck Parsons, Wild West History Association Journal
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