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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

Description:   "Buried bones of the past rise to the surface in this chilling mystery from the bestselling author of River Bodies.

When the long-buried bones of a man turn up in the middle of December, Pennsylvania homicide detective Parker Reed knows he’s in for a cold case.

Trisha and her friends were teenagers when Trisha’s stepdad went missing. Now, thirty years later, his remains have been found in the mountains. The women have always known there was more to his disappearance than meets the eye, and they must confront their grim past. Secrets can stay secret a long time in the lonely Appalachian foothills—but not forever.

When Parker and his partner identify the remains, their investigation leads them to Trisha’s childhood home. But the deeper Parker digs into the crime, the more he realizes that the truth isn’t always simple. In fact, it’s so complicated that even Trisha and her friends don’t fully understand what really happened in those cold woods."

Cold Woods offers a different take on mystery/crime in a couple of ways.  You would think the main character would play a larger role but instead, the author concentrates on the three friends and their families...and this makes the mystery more interesting.  What actually happened to Trisha's stepfather?  There are a number of secrets that come to light as the novel unfolds.  The conclusion was also a bit unusual, but I liked it.

Read in March; blog review scheduled for July 30, 2019.

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Mystery/Crime.  August 13, 2019.   

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong

Don't get the wrong idea because of the cover!  This is Kelley Armstrong and the book is, of course, suitable for a middle grade audience, but the delightful romp with twelve-year-old Princess Rowan is not limited to any age group.

Kelley Armstrong has the ability to pull the reader into whatever world her imagination creates, and youngsters from 10-80 are likely to become completely immersed in the monster hunting adventures of Rowan and friends.

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying is the first in Armstrong's new series, and I can't wait for the next one!

Read in June.  Blog review scheduled for July 28, 2019.

NetGalley/Penguin Random House Canada
Middle Grade/Fantasy.  Aug. 6, 2018.  Print length:  288 pages

Friday, July 26, 2019

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware and The Hidden Things by Jamie Mason

The Turn of the Key begins with a former nanny writing letters to a lawyer she hopes might be able to get her out of prison.  There's a creepy smart house (smart houses, usually turn out to be creepy), misrepresentation, veiled hints of supernatural elements, secrets aplenty, and a slow build up to the last section of the book. 

The prologue has Rowan, the nanny in prison for the death of one of her charges, writing letters that explain her situation.    She explains wanting the job of nanny and taking a few shortcuts to obtain the lucrative position.  The reader already knows she is in prison,  but Rowan recounts the events that led to the death of the child for the lawyer (and the reader).  

Is Rowan a reliable narrator?  

I'm not sure the technique of using the prologue works that well--sometimes knowing the end works well, sometimes it doesn't.  It may have been better to simply follow Rowan's journey from applying for the job and through the events that followed afterwards.  There would still be plenty of perplexing circumstances to keep the reader in doubt about what is going on.  

I looked forward to this one and wanted to like it more than I did.  

A modern take on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, but lacking the chilling ambiguity.  

Read in  May; blog post scheduled for July 26.

Psychological Mystery.  Aug. 6, 2019.  Print length:  384 pages.

I adored Jamie Mason's Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie and so I expected the quirkiness of The Hidden Things.  

Fourteen-year-old Carly Liddell is on her way home from school unaware that she has attracted the attention of a predator.  Although a reasonably competent kid, the attack and her ability to fend off the attacker initiates some profound changes in Carly.  

Her remarkable escape is caught on a security camera, and when Carly watches, she gains a new perception of what she is capable of accomplishing.  The event is both traumatic and eye-opening for Carly.  

The video helps the police catch Carly's assailant quickly; it also catches the public's attention and the video goes viral.  Most people are simply impressed with Carly's ability to incapacitate her assailant and escape, but at least two people who see the video are interested in the painting hanging on the wall--a painting by Flinck that was part of the famous (and very real) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist in 1990.  

Mason has the ability to create characters whose predicaments pull you in--and even the bad guys elicit some empathy.  Carly, a girl on the cusp of womanhood, must reevaluate what she knows about family, trust, and things that have been hidden in all kinds of ways.

I just wish Jamie Mason would write faster.  If you haven't read Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie you are missing something.

Read in June; blog review scheduled for July 26.

NetGalley/Gallery Books
Mystery/Thriller.  Aug. 13, 2019.  Print length:  352 pages.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson and State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

Initially, this follow up to Dance of Thieves was a little hard to catch up on as it had been awhile since I finished the first in this series.  I would have liked a little reminder of the mission Kazi was on for Queen Lia to help set the scene, but the book jumps right into the return trip.

I had to do a little backtracking here to remember (it was a couple of hundred books ago).  Kazi and Jase have good news to share when they return to Tor's Watch.  The Ballengers will no longer be considered outlaws and Tor's Watch will now be a kingdom. they approach, a vicious attack separates them, and Kazi believes Jase to be dead.  The new villain is introduced, one that no one would have suspected. The surviving Ballengers are in hiding, two young Ballengers are hostages, there are missing papers that are the object of both sides, a surprising ally...and plenty of suspense and action.  I sped through this one quickly.

I've enjoyed everything I've read by Mary E. Pearson, and I am a little disappointed that this series is only two books. I wonder where Pearson will go next--but I hope for more books in this same world that began with The Remnant Chronicles.

Read in April.  Blog review scheduled for 7/24/19.

NetGalley/Macmillan's Children Publishing
YA/Fantasy.  Aug. 6, 2019.  Print length:  496 pages.

Sean Brennan goes to pick up something for a household repair and is killed in a car accident.  Georgie Brennan is devastated by Sean's death, grieving for her husband and for her young son Sam's loss of a father.

Georgie's overbearing parents pressure her to move in with them, but she knows this is not a good idea.  Her father is up for confirmation as the next secretary of state.  Her mother's interests lie in her husband's status and in impressing others.  Georgie, a respected physicist, doesn't quite fit into their world.

After Georgie finds a notebook of Sean's, she realizes that Sean had been keeping a lot of secrets.  The more she questions, the more unsure she becomes.  She finds herself unable to trust even those closest to her--with good reason.

Read in April.  Review scheduled for  July 24.

NetGalley/Thomas Nelson
Political Intrigue/Suspense.  Aug. 13, 2019.  Print length:  352 pages

Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb

Mysteries set in another time period have their own allure.  Murder  and murderer have never been limited to time or place, and the reasons for murder vary and remain the same.  The old axiom for motives:  "love, lust, lucre, loathing" can incorporate a longer list that fit somewhere in sub-topics under those four or combinations thereof.

For those of us who love historical mysteries, the motives are also related to societal norms and events.  Interest also comes from the characters tasked with solving the murders and the methods employed long before all of the technology present- day investigators have at their disposal.

Candace Robb's excellent mysteries are set in the late Middle Ages in the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and John of Gaunt.  

 After the death of John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, Owen Archer finds himself at a crossroads.  Despite the frequent difficulties and differences of opinion Owen experienced with his late patron, Owen had gained respect and affection for the man.     Now, he has decisions to make about the future for himself and his family.

As usual, an engaging mystery and well-developed characters backed by excellent research.

I love this series.

Read in April.  Blog review scheduled for July 21.

NetGalley/Severn House
Medieval Mystery.  Aug. 1, 2019.  Print length:  256 pages.  

More June and July Reading

Darkness on the Fens is the 10th? book in Joy Ellis' Nikki Galena series, which I read like gum drops with each new entry.

Dark Greenborough is a traditional festival celebrated much like Halloween with ghost walks, haunted houses, and people dressed as zombies, monsters, and other creepy characters.  Nikki isn't happy about the darker content of the festival which has changed since she was young, but the festival is an economic boon for the town.  This year, however, a note arrives telling the police that the festival this will be dangerous.  The reality is even worse.  (from my review on my other blog)

I liked Dave's role in this one and his interest in historic homes.  Joseph's friend Victor is becoming a staple in trying to keep Nikki's mother Eve and her friends safe.

This is not my favorite in the series because of the elaborate and gruesome plot, but Ellis' characters are, as always, worth catching up with. :)  And Eve and her "golden girl" network is really growing on me.  I'd love to see them get a book of their own.

NetGalley/Joffe Books
Police Procedural.  July 16, 2019.  Print length:  302 pages.

I've been following Evan Currie's Odyssey One series for several years now (and yes, loving this military scifi series).
Now, new technology has created the Archangel Squadron of ships to be led by Commander Stephen "Stephanos" Michaels .  Their orders are to impersonate mercenaries as they move into deep space seeking intelligence to help defeat the Empire.

I love the action, the technology, and the characters in these books.  Archangel One gives Stephanos a larger role in this parallel  series connected to the larger Odyssey series, but focusing on the mission of intelligence gathering.

Stephanos, with his willingness to take risks, is perfect for the mission.  

These books are like graphic novels in many ways.  There's a screenplay quality to this series, and the books are action, not character driven.  The characters are likable, and I appreciate the continuity from book to book with its ensemble cast.  

The books are great fun, full of suspense, and hard to put down.  

NetGalle/47 North
Military SciFi.  Sept. 1, 2019.  Print length:  272 pages.

He Will Find You is the third in this series featuring DI Harry Blaker and DS Maddie Ives.   I read the first one last year, but missed the second one.

A young boy covered in blood, terrified, and unwilling or unable to speak; a man completing tasks for some kind of online group; a young man taken in by the same promises, but who wants out, even when he is in too deep.

Gruesome and full of twists.  Not exactly my favorite kind of book, but I didn't want to abandon it either.

NetGalley/Joffe Books
Thriller/Police Procedural.  July 19, 2019.  

The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele will satisfy those who want a hopeful dystopian novel.

I liked some of the ideas of a community working together to salvage what they can in a world gone horribly wrong and to adjust to the changes forced upon them by the lack of electricity, a population decimated by a virulent flu, and the collapse of government.  

Beatrix, however, was annoying and almost everything connected to her part of the story was more than a little pedantic.  Much of the time, I wanted to shake her sense of righteousness.  (Obviously, if she and her activist friends had been in charge, the world would never have descended into to chaos.)

 I'm happy that there are people who stand up for their beliefs (many of which I agree with), but ugh--the smug, condescending attitude of the Beatrix before and after the collapse is irritating.  

Beatrix has good qualities, but the author's attempt to give her this activist background has such a holier-than-thou feeling.   Being committed to a cause is one thing; being smug and condescending is another.

Carson's journey on foot across the continent to find Beatrix has him meeting more good and generous people than dangerous ones.   I love the idea that people would be so generous, sharing the little they have with others, and I know that this could be the saving grace of humanity in such a situation--it might be hopeful to expect such generosity from so many.   

I don't regret reading The Lightest Object and the writing is excellent, but especially with what is going on in our society today, it may be too optimistic.

NetGalley/Algonquin Books
Dystopian.  July 9, 2019.  Print length:  329 pages.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Snap Shot by Marilyn Todd

Although the cover has no real connection to the book which is set in 1895 and is not gory in the way the cover implies, I liked the description and the Victorians setting and decided to give it a go.

from description:  1895, London 

Taking risqué photographs is the only way Julia McAllister can retain her independence as a young widow in London. 

But one by one, her models are dying — and now she is being framed for their murders. 

The relentless Inspector Collingwood is on the case and Julia knows he’s watching her every move. 

With young women still dying, and her own life on the line, Julia must unmask the real killer before it is too late… 

Can Julia clear her name? Will Collingwood believe her?

Or will the dark secrets of her past come back to haunt her…? 

Snap Shot is the first in a new series featuring Victorian photographer Julia McAllister.   Julia is intelligent and skilled; however, in order to keep customers, she has to pretend that the previous owner of the studio is still alive.  An independent woman with her own business doesn't sit well with the Victorian social norms, so Julia keeps up the facade of being the apprentice photographer.  But taking the ordinary pictures of the trade barely sustain her, and Julia wants a nest egg large enough to help her travel and take artistic photographs.

Thus the sideline of naughty pictures.  I was happy with this one, which has some light moments among the more serious incidents...until the end.  I wasn't as pleased with the end.  

I imagine the next book will be about Julia becoming a crime photographer.  She mentions that the French have already begun using crime photography.  I imagine she is referring to 
Bertillon, who pioneered the practice of mug shots and crime scene photographs.    (some of the photos are graphic.)

Read in June; blog review scheduled for July 18.

NetGalley/Sapere Books
Historical Mystery.  July 29, 2019.  Print length:  252 pages.

Welcome to the bookstore...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Stuff That Interests Me

Letters and Tearooms

 Ten Illuminating Letters From Authors to Authors  

Tea rooms and Feminism 

A Mighty Girl--Book and film suggestions for girls of all ages:

Twelve Amazing Canadian Women--including Lucy Maud Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, and Buffy St. Marie.

Six Mighty Women Who Deserve a Film of Her Own:  Iday B. Wells, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maria Tallchief, Rachel Carson, Nancy Wake, and Wanagri Maathaie.

Beyond Harry Potter: 35 Fantsy Adventure Series Starring Mighty Girls

And on and on with so many girls and women, real and fictional.  

Picture Books

The Right Books at the Right Time

Why Picture Books Are So Important

books vs tv


For those of us who love mysteries and psychological thrillers, this article is about gaslighting in psychologyThere are actually a surprising number of articles about gaslighting, a fact that makes me a little uneasy.  

Gaslighting is one of the creepiest and most sinister forms of manipulation, and I can think of several novels that have made great use of the technique.   The first ones that came to mind:

The Breakdown by B.A. Harris
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

What are some of the novels you can think of that have included gaslighting?

Every once in a while I go through links I've saved.  It is interesting to go through them again.  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan excels in his world-building and character development.  Age of Legend, the fourth book in this six book series, takes place after a gap of five years from the last book and during a stalemate in the war.

Persephone takes a backseat during this book and other characters get their time in the spotlight.

Sullivan writes the kind of epic fantasy that keeps you turning the pages, engrossed in the characters and in the action.  If you decide to read the series, start at the beginning (Age of Myth) to see the character development and the beginning of the rebellion.

I started with Age of Myth in 2016.  Then--knowing that it would be at least a year until the next book, I binged on the The Riyria Revelations, starting with the Theft of Swords and was completely caught up with the characters and suspense.

Honestly, as much as I've enjoyed the books in the Age of Legends of the First Empire series, I still think my favorites are the books in The Riyria Revelations trilogy.  I still think of Royce and Hadrian   as real people.  :)

Read in May.  Blog review scheduled for July.

NetGalley/Grim Oak Press
Epic Fantasy.  July 9, 2019.  Print length:  480 pages.  

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Save Me From Dangerous Men, Old Bones, and The Merciful Crow

The opening chapter of Save Me from Dangerous Men was very much old-fashioned Noir, which is not my thing, but by the end of the first chapter, I was intrigued.

The style changed, and I was hooked on Nikki , private investigator, bookstore owner, and vigilante.  Now, although I believe a woman can be a physical threat in the right circumstances, Nikki does go a bit overboard.  Regardless of how skilled a woman might be, men are typically at an advantage physically--so although Nikki prevails in the book, it isn't a logical outcome for most women to depend on strength and technique against a male opponent.    

Nikki becomes something of the graphic novel hero in that regard.  Not that we aren't delighted with the outcomes, but maybe less Lisbeth Salander and more Jessica Jones.  :) 

I hope the next book has more input from the characters in the Zebras, the bookclub that meets at Nikki's bookstore.  This could easily become a series I want to follow, but I'd like more character-driven stories and much more about the bookstore and the book club members. 

Read in June. 

NetGalley/Flatiron Books
PI/Suspense.  March 19, 2019.  Print length:  326 pages.

Although I can never resist a Preston & Childs book, Old Bones takes a somewhat different path.  This is the first book in a series featuring Norah Kelly, a character in several of the Agent Pendergast books.

from description:The first in the groundbreaking Nora Kelly series from #1 bestselling authors Preston & Child blends the legend of the Donner party with a riveting suspense tale, taking the dynamic duo's work to new heights.

I actually liked rookie Agent Corrine Swanson, who also has appeared in an earlier book, better than Norah--which was a little surprising.

So...the book was...a little slow and didn't engage me the way some of the previous books have.  Special Agent Pendergast makes only  a cameo appearance at the end, and I was disappointed with the lack of weirdness he usually brings to these novels.  Because Pendergast IS the reason I gobble up these strange, silly, supernatural books!  

Read in June.

NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing
Thriller?  Aug. 20, 2019.  Print length:  384 pages.

OK, first sentence:  "Pa was taking too long to cut the boys' throats."

The Merciful Crows are the mercy killers of those dying of an excruciating plague.  When a village seeks their help, they send for the Crows to end the suffering of the infected and to dispose of the bodies before the plague spreads.  

In a world of castes, the Crows--despite their uses--are pariahs and preyed upon by other castes.  The book opens with the Merciful Crows called upon to end the suffering of a royal and dispose of the body by ritual burning, but there are two victims instead of one.  And neither one has the plague.

Since the Crows are immune to the plague, they play an important role in the safety of the kingdom, but are still despised.  Fie, sixteen-year-old daughter of the Crow chief is full of personality and grit and sees a desperate chance to improve the lot of her fellow Crows.
Spanish cover

There is a wicked queen who wants the Crown Prince and his body double dead; a group of night marauders from the Oleander Gentry; a troupe of misfit Crows, and lots of suspenseful moments.  

It took me a couple of chapters to get a fix on the magic system, but once I had that, I was engrossed with the characters and their adventures.  Like the best of YA fiction, the only thing that separates it from other books in the fantasy genre is the age of the important characters.

Read in June.

NetGalley/Henry Holt
YA/Fantasy.  July 30, 2019.  Print length:  384 pages.  

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Liberation of Paris: How Eisenhower, De Gaulle, and Von Choltitz Saved the City of Light

Although I usually read nonfiction slowly, The Liberation of Paris  proved one of those books that caught my interest early and refused to let me quit reading until I was finished.

Jean Edward Smith (born October 13, 1932) is a biographer and the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University.[1] He is also professor emeritus at the University of Toronto after having served as professor of political economy there for thirty-five years. Smith is also on the faculty of the Master of American History and Government program at Ashland University.[2]
The winner of the 2008 Francis Parkman Prize and the 2002 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, Smith has been called "today’s foremost biographer of formidable figures in American history."[1][3]

One of those rare historians who can make history come alive, Jean Edward Smith's account of the liberation of Paris is an engrossing narrative of the three men who worked together to save the city.  All three had to circumvent difficult situations (and often  their immediate superiors) to do what they thought best.

At De Gaulle's request, Eisenhower's decision to liberate Paris--which Allied Planners wanted delayed--was largely political, to avoid the communist resistance gaining power, while Von Choltitz, knowing the war was lost and not wanting the blame for destroying  Paris, did his best to avoid Hitler's command to defend the city to the last man and leave the city in ruins.  

The machinations of all three men to save the city required some devious thinking, especially on the part of Von Choltitz, who was ordered to destroy the seventy bridges of Paris and reduce the city rubble.  The communications between De Gaulle and Eisenhower are especially interesting, as are the communications between Von Choltitz and his superiors.  

The liberation of Paris was a morale booster, but it did delay the end of the war by giving the Germans the opportunity to regroup.  Regardless of whether it was the best decision possible, liberating Paris was a momentous emotional success, and the story that led up to  the liberation is fascinating.

If you are interested in WWII, I highly recommend this compelling account of the liberation of Paris.

Read in April; blog review scheduled for July 9, 2019.

NetGalley/Simon & Schuster
Nonfiction/WWII.  July 23, 2019.  Print length:  256 pages.  

I'm interested in Another Life.  I have to know how VBS got out of hand!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Gretchen by Shannon Kirk, Fire on the Fens by Joy Ellis, and The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

Strange landlords and tenants with secrets, Gretchen will give you  some nightmarish and sinister moments that will make your skin crawl.

The beginning catches the suspenseful feel of a mother and daughter on the run.  Someone tried to kidnap Lucy when she was two, and after her mother gets her back, the two have been on the move for the last fifteen years, never too long in one place, always taking precautions to keep from being recognized.

At fifteen Lucy is exhausted with the need to keep on the run, and even if she understands her mother's paranoia, Lucy is tired of never having friends or stability.

After failing to maintain all of her mother's rules at their last location, Lucy must abandon another school.  The two end up in a small New Hampshire town, and Lucy falls in love with their prospective rental.  The landlord has a few rules and boundaries that Lucy doesn't mind, but that make her mother reluctant to sign the rental agreement.  

After a bit of a power struggle, Lucy gets her way. She's tired of running, more and frustrated with her mother's refusal to provide information about their circumstances, and eager for a permanence she's never had.  But even though she's able to force her mother into staying, Lucy knows their landlord and his daughter are...weird.

I didn't see the unexpected twist until the author wanted me to.

Gretchen would make a great Halloween read (it's seriously creepy). Or you can go ahead and read it now and use the chills to combat summer heat!   

Read in June.  Blog review scheduled for 

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Thriller.  July 23, 2019.  Print length:  353 pages.

Fire on the Fens by Joy Ellis, the latest in Ellis' Nikki Galena series will comfort you with the return of Nikki, Joseph, and their team and unsettle you with their most recent case.  

Retired fire inspector John Carson has been following several small fires that he suspects is an arsonist learning his craft.  Something about these fires makes him suspect that the arsonist has a much bigger plan in mind.  Carson eventually reaches out to his old friend DCI Cameron Walker whith his fears about escalation.

Soon, Nikki and her team find themselves with an arsonist who sets fires after making sure his victims can't escape.  The victims mount, and Nikki and her team are at a loss as to how these victims are related--and they must be, because the arsonist seems to have a list.  

Another great addition to the DI Nikki Galena series.  If you want a new series of good police procedurals be sure to check out Joy Ellis--I look forward to each new addition.

Joffe Books
Police Procedural.  2018.  Print length:  313 pages.

I saw an article about The Lost Words on Brain Pickings and could not resist this marvelous combination of art and poems.  

"In early 2015, when the 10,000-entry Oxford children’s dictionary dropped around fifty words related to nature — words like fernwillow, and starling — in favor of terms like broadband and cut and paste, some of the world’s most prominent authors composed an open letter of protest and alarm at this impoverishment of children’s vocabulary and its consequent diminishment of children’s belonging to and with the natural world."   (Brain Pickings)

It is an over-sized, gorgeous book, and I absolutely love it.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager and Ancient Blood and Mojado by R. Allen Chappell

The blurb sounded interesting, so I decided to give Lock Every Door a try--even after being pretty apathetic about Sager's The Last Time I Lied.

from the blurb:  The next heart-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Riley Sager follows a young woman whose new job apartment sitting in one of New York’s oldest and most glamorous buildings may cost more than it pays.

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

OK, mostly it feels like it was inspired by Rosemary's Baby --the brownstone with a sordid history,  strange tenants, etc. 

It fell flat for me, but may thrill you.  

Read in June.  Blog review scheduled for 

NetGalley/Penguin Group
Mystery/Thriller?  July 2, 2019.  Print length: 384 pages.

Of course, I've continued with R. Allen Chappell's Navajo Nation Mysteries, and Ancient Blood adds even more interest with the introduction of Charlie Yazzie's former archaeology/anthropology professor, George Custer and childhood friend Harley Ponyboy.  

The professor's most recent dig is a kiva that might help with his theories about the migration of the Anasazi, but even before his team arriveshe is attacked and the site vandalized.   

Charlie and Thomas Begay begin looking into the suspects, trying to prevent further vandalism and attacks on the site.


The professor's theories are controversial and some members of an Indian Rights movement would rather not have them published.   The violence escalates from damage to the site to more serious and deadly acts.

Harley is now my favorite character because of the humor he adds.  

Mojado takes a different turn with a serial killer who has no specific prey--a professional from Mexico, he kills anyone who might reveal his presence.  Man, woman, matters little to the Mojado, who is on the run and has a private goal. 

The murders are callous and cold-blooded, but they don't celebrate violence.  The Mojado has no compunction about killing, but neither does he take delight in killing.  

As Charlie Yazzi, Thomas Begay, and Harley Ponyboy pursue the killer through the harshest areas of the reservation, all four men approach exhaustion.

Aside from the characters who continue to grow, I love the way Chappell presents the land and the culture of the Four Corners region.

I reviewed the first two books in the series here.

---------The Garden kept me busy in June.

-----------Some of June's Snail Mail