It turns out that a Santa Fe-based writer, S.M. Stirling, has in fact been writing in that vein (heh). Here is his protagonist, hanging out in the Plaza, pondering an eternal Santa Fe question—shopping or museum-ing:
A homeless man was approaching, ready to ask for a handout; leathery skin and rank scent and layers of tattered cloth. She glared at him and found the weakness—a blood-vessel in the brain ready to rupture, weakened by drugs, bad feeding, alcohol and stress from the untreated chemical imbalances that rode him more savagely than even her kind could do. She pushed. The world shifted slightly as might-be switched to is, like a breath of cold air up the spine and a tightness that went click and released around the brows. The man collapsed.
Adrienne rose and stepped by him; it would probably be minutes before someone noticed it was more than the usual unconsciousness. She’d planned on spending the afternoon at the O’Keefe Museum, or possibly shopping for jewelry, but…
Sample chapters of the book, A Taint in the Blood, are available at his Web site. Stirling seems to have a fondness for superhuman characters who, we might say, clean out the weak, which fits with the literary-vampire ethos.
Santa Fe might be called the New Orleans of the West, only “earthy” in an elemental sense rather than “watery.”
It caters to tourists and offers them a good time. Tourist Santa Fe, selling High Culture (art and opera) to Texans (and others) co-exists with governmental Santa Fe just hundreds of yards away—after all, it has been a provincial capital since 1608.
But underneath . . . layers and layers. Ethnic balkanization and people cherishing hatreds and triumphs that go back centuries. Martyrs and massacres. Deep roots in the earth.