Thirtieth Anniversary of The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz Celebrated With New Edition
In 1986, Manuel Ramos – a burned-out Chicano attorney working at Legal Aid – entered a writing contest sponsored by Westword, Denver’s alternative newspaper. His story, White Devils and Cockroaches. won second place and featured Luis Montez – a burned-out Chicano lawyer – as the protagonist.
In 1993, Manuel created a larger platform for Luis Montez. Montez roamed Denver’s Northside as the protagonist in Manuel’s first novel The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz. The novel won the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from the University of California and a Colorado Book Award. The book also was a finalist for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
This debut novel in the acclaimed five-novel Luis Montez series introduced a hero unique in detective fiction: Luis Montez, a world-weary middle-aged Latino lawyer steeped in the politics, history, and culture of the golden age of Chicano activism.
First published by St. Martin’s Press as both a hardback and paperback, The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz was reissued by Northwestern University Press in 2004. In 2023, thirty years after it's initial release, The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz is in its fourth edition, published by Arte Público Press, a division of the University of Houston. Order the book directly from Arte Público Press.
The Saga of Gus Corral Continues in Angels in the Wind
"More than just a detective novel, this book is a reflection on the changing landscape of the West and the redemptive power of family. The work of a storyteller at the peak of his form, the return of private investigator Gus Corral reminds me of nothing less than The Long Goodbye set in Colorado. Thrilling, heartbreaking and engrossing, Angels in the Wind is the best yet from one of the masters of the genre." David Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of Winter Counts.
“Manuel Ramos is a legend of Chicano noir and he’s done it again with Angels in the Wind. Gus Corral is on the case in Melton, Colorado, a small town with some big secrets and characters who might just remind you of a long-lost cousin. In this gripping noir, there’s sexy jazz, rolling bluffs, a missing teenager, and the weight of history at every turn. Utterly readable and atmospheric, I couldn’t put this book down.”
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Sabrina & Corina and Woman of Light.
Denver Noir -- Award-Winning Anthology
Northside Nocturne is included in the collection Denver Noir, edited by Cynthia Swanson for Akashic Books. Publishers Weekly praised the story: “Another high point is Manuel Ramos's powerful Northside Nocturne, which explores gentrification and racial hostility as rising violence, vigilantism, fear, and suspicion tear through a previously tight-knit community." And the Denver Post said the story was "among the best" with a "strong sense of place ... filled with racial tension and inevitable gloom." Denver Noir won the 2023 Colorado Book Award in the Anthology category. Order from Akashic Books.
The video of the launch of Angels in the Wind (image below) can be seen on the Tattered Cover's YouTube channel. Click here.