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Selected for Kirkus' Indie Books of the Month
A chase after the good life with crime fighting on the side
Kirkus Reviews 
Running blockades on the streets, looking for goat stew
Anchor 1

Santo Gordo Mysteries

"Kerns' second Santo Gordo mystery is even tastier than the first. It's a cup that runs over with Oaxaca's unique local color--I don't know anyone who captures the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Oaxaca more vividly or insightfully than Kerns. Santo Gordo, gourmand, local hero and reluctant detective, is a shrewd observer of this exotic locale and its cast of characters."  

"The city of Oaxaca, lively, dark and under threat, plays a starring role in this satisfying mystery." (Oaxaca Chocolate)

Robert Adler, co-author of the best-selling Oaxaca guidebook,

Viva Oaxaca. 

"The colors, smells, music, and especially the food of Oaxaca and its surrounding villages jump off the pages in this tale. The pace remains leisurely. Roberto walks slowly; he takes the time to study the streets, the architecture, the people; he needs his afternoon naps; and he never misses an opportunity to eat...

An entertaining mystery propelled by a hero to be savored, a smart, gentle cynic who comfortably interacts with both expats and locals. (Restaurante Oaxaca)



Charles Kerns writes mysteries about Oaxaca. Sometimes his characters end up in Mexico City and California, as well.


Kerns loves the land, architecture, peoples, foods, music, and the style of life in Oaxaca. He writes to celebrate and explore, and to show how the US is slipping down below the beltline of Mexico into this city—Starbuck’s, Walmart, cable TV, the internet and all the products of the NAFTA, neo-con world impinge on the lives of the poor, the newly growing middle class, and the rich. Some changes help, some lead to yet more corruption, and some destroy the communal ways and rich family culture.


Kerns lives in Oaxaca and Oakland, CA, retiring after 30 years as technical educator at Stanford University and Apple Computer. He is married to Roshni Rustomji-Kerns. He drinks his share of hot chocolate and espresso in Café Brújula and Cafe Blasón in the barrio of Jalatlaco.

Look for him there.

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