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  • Writer's pictureJ Nicole von Germeten


Death in Old Mexico brings a gruesome crime into the light of day, confronting both the problem of the crime itself and our fascination with spectacular killings. With painstaking attention to historical context, Nicole von Germeten makes these events proximate, even intimate, plunging the reader into the material and emotional world of colonial Mexico. It is a testament to her writing that the experience proves as unsettling as it is illuminating.”

Sylvia Sellers Garcia, author of The Woman on the Windowsill: A Tale of Mystery in Several Parts

“The title of this stunningly original new book barely hints at the complex creativity awaiting the reader. A spoiler alert suggesting that the introduction be read last—I agree! —strongly hints at Von Germeten’s ingenious use of narrative tension, as she strives with resounding success to balance scholarly empiricism with the imaginative insights of True Crime writing.”

Matthew Restall, author of Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest and When Montezuma Met Cortés

Death in Old Mexico takes readers on a textual tour of death. In doing so, her work challenges methodological certainties while compelling us to question our ongoing investment in the intertwining of violence and entertainment.”

William E. French, University of British Columbia

“Fast paced and compellingly written, Nicole von Germeten analyzes the paper trail of the infamous Dongo murders and their aftermath, viewing the events from different vantage points and perspectives of gender, urban policing, and state surveillance in multiracial colonial Mexico City. In the process, she offers a rich and complex picture of a multiracial society on the cusp of modernity.”

Martha Few, author of Women Who Live Evil Lives: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Power in Colonial Guatemala

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