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Wild Indigo (Wild Mystery Series #1)

( 19 )


Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man who was trampled by buffalo. After the tribal government and local paper make allegations that Jamaica caused the stampede, she is determined to solve this mystery. But what is revealed is a greater secret regarding Tanoah Pueblo-one that threatens its future and its past.
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Wild Indigo (Wild Mystery Series #1)

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Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man who was trampled by buffalo. After the tribal government and local paper make allegations that Jamaica caused the stampede, she is determined to solve this mystery. But what is revealed is a greater secret regarding Tanoah Pueblo-one that threatens its future and its past.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Blending elements of outdoor adventures à la Jack London's White Fang, Native American-powered whodunits by Tony Hillerman, James D. Doss, et al., and Castañeda-style shamanistic vision quests, Sandi Ault's impressive Wild Indigo is, simply put, a page-turner of the highest order.

Featuring Jamaica Wild -- a headstrong resource protection agent for the Bureau of Land Management -- and her pet wolf cub, Mountain, the mystery revolves around the strange demise of a Native American man trampled to death by a herd of stampeding buffalo. Both the tribal elders and the FBI declare the death a suicide, but Wild, who witnessed the trampling firsthand, knows that something is not quite right. When she begins asking too many questions, the tribal council claims that she started the stampede and is solely responsible for the man's death. Suspended from her job pending an investigation, Wild vows to uncover the truth -- and stumbles headlong into ritualistic terror…

Ault's extensive knowledge of Southwest Native American culture aside, the real power behind this debut novel -- the thing that makes Wild Indigo such a unique and compelling read -- is the complex relationship between Wild and Mountain. Both human and wolf are outsiders, with no real home or family, and the intense bond that they share -- the pack of two that they create -- is as beautiful as it is bittersweet. Additionally, Ault deals with a myriad of sensitive themes like the preservation of indigenous cultures, psychoactive drug-induced mysticism, wildlife conservation, etc., with compassion and class. Paul Goat Allen
Marilyn Stasio
Scenes of the high, dry, glittering landscape are as clean as a sun-bleached bone, and there are thrills galore when Jamaica is trapped in a flash flood that tears down the canyon walls of an ancient mountain sacred to the tribe. But Ault is no less artful at depicting the marriage customs, funeral rites and religious ceremonies that have drawn Jamaica to this tightly knit world and made her lose her heart to its people.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
At the start of Ault's strong debut, agent Jamaica Wild of the Bureau of Land Management is shocked to see Jerome Santana, a member of the Tanoah tribe of northern New Mexico, trampled to death by a herd of buffalo. It looks like suicide, but Jamaica suspects Jerome had been unwillingly drugged. A tribal elder and a child who also witnessed the fatal stampede go missing, and the authorities blame Jamaica for causing the death she tried to prevent. Jamaica combines a stubborn independent streak with an equally powerful longing to belong-a longing that finds expression in both her touching devotion to her wolf pup, Mountain, and in her warm ties to the Tanoah community and her mentor and medicine teacher, Momma Anna, Jerome's mother. Tinged with mysticism, this artfully told story should appeal to fans of Nevada Barr's National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon as well as Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee series and Margaret Coel's Wyoming Wind River Reservation novels. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Native American Jerome Santana is trampled to death by stampeding buffalo when he enters their pen. The only witness is Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild, who is studying Pueblo ways under the mentorship of Momma Anna, Jerome's mother. Soon the Tanoah Pueblo people blame Jamaica for Jerome's death, and it quickly becomes clear that she and her wolf puppy, Mountain, are marked for death by witchcraft. Jamaica must navigate her way in an unfamiliar culture to find the truth. Reviewers and readers will draw parallels between Ault's enlightening, well-researched debut, set in northern New Mexico, and the mysteries of Tony Hillerman, Nevada Barr, and Aimee and David Thurlo; this is fine because she is that good. Highly recommended for all mystery collections. Ault lives in the Rocky Mountains. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Enlightening.... Highly recommended." —-Library Journal Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425219010
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/5/2008
  • Series: Wild Mystery Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 576,295
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandi Ault, a former musician, composer, journalist, and newspaper editor, has taught writing for many years. She is the author of the Wild mystery series, including Wild Inferno, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008. She is also a volunteer firefighter as well as a Fire Information Officer on local and national wildfires. She lives in Lyons, Colorado with her husband, cat, and wolf, Tiwa. Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks, including works by Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She has performed and directed for thirty years in theaters throughout the country. In addition to her extensive theater and voice-over work, Laural teaches college in her home state of Michigan.
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Read an Excerpt

The headline read: Tanoah Pueblo Man Killed by Raging Bison-Careless Driver May Have Caused Stampede. Right beneath it, the shot of me-angry, speeding away from the reporter in my banged-up Jeep with no driver's side door.

"Roy! Everyone in the Taos Valley will think I'm a murderer!"

The boss folded the paper and tucked it under his arm. He took my arm.

"Listen, when you go into that interview with that attorney, say as little as you can. Don't go elaborating things. You stand by what you put in that report, you ain't got nothing more to add, you hear me?"

"Boss, what's going to happen to me? Whose side is this guy on?"

"That guy's not the only one you're dealing with. There's an attorney from the Department of Justice involved now. So you just do like I said." He released my arm, patted my shoulder. "And let me keep your wolf in my office with me. We don't need to go calling attention to how unusual you are right now."
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Overated tripe

    We are supposed to be impressed by someone who keeps a wild a wild animal in her home that tears up the house and urinates and defecates all over. Besides it was boring or at least 100 pages less. Didn't finish it and could care less what she does or doesn't do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2007


    After reading Sandi Ault's character-driven debut novel, WILD INDIGO, it's obvious the gal's done her research. Page after page, Sandi's detailed descriptions and passion for the West, the Pueblo cultures, wolf rescue (the joys, headaches and heartaches) as well as her writing craft unfold through the eyes of her protagonist, Jamaica Wild and her wolf cub, Mountain, and draw the reader into the conflict. Sure the plot evolves around a terrific murder mystery, set in the magical backdrop of New Mexico's high desert, but the story also reveals--and teaches--much more. If you take the time to savor each image Sandi tenders her readers, each chapter not only offers subtle clues towards solving her novel's crime, but also provides insights into an ancient culture and a few thought-provoking lessons in life. When a writer communicates well, readers clearly envision each scene, they truly feel the protagonist's emotions to the point they become friends--sometimes one--with that character and hate to see the relationship end as the last page is turned. After reading Sandi Ault's WILD INDIGO, I miss Jamaica already and look forward to renewing our friendship via the next in the WILD series, WILD INFERNO. Too bad I'll have to wait until 2008. So, folks, if you want a great read and a little education to boot, grab a copy of WILD INDIGO, settle into your favorite over-stuffed chair with a steaming mug of coffee and enjoy the book. If that doesn't sound enticing, fine! Go buy the latest edition of 'MAD Magazine' and leave the good stuff for the rest of us. And Tony Hillerman, though your name has been favorably dragged into many WILD INDIGO reviews, please know--when you're ready to retire--with Sandi Ault and Jamaica Wild the Southwest is in good hands.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2007

    Eagerly awaiting the next.

    After reading this brilliant debut novel/mystery by Sandi Ault, I'm ready to pack my bags and head for the southwest. A page-turner of the first order, this lovely book's crisp and evocative language brilliantly portrays the land, the people, and importantly for this dog-lover, a wild canine who stole my heart. I await with impatience the next adventure of Jamaica Wild.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2007

    I want my own Momma Anna!

    Industry reviews and customer reviews appear to all be in agreement: WILD INDIGO is an exciting, high-paced, beautifully crafted book. But, what I love most about the book goes beyond being an exciting novel. Ms. Ault has clearly spent so much time researching this book, and clearly has such a love for the Pueblo Indians, that it is contagious to the reader. This book has inspired me to visit an area I previously knew nothing about and to study a people I barely knew existed. I feel as magnetically drawn to this mysterious tribe as the main character, Jamaica Wild, does. I want to have my own 'Momma Anna'. At the same time, the author really conveys the theme of leaving the People alone and giving them their privacy, leaving me wanting to learn more, but from a respectable distance. There are hundreds of high-quality, exciting novels on the market today. But, over time, the memory of plot details begin to fade. One thing that cannot fade is an interest and passion, and a desire to research and learn more. This was something that WILD INDIGO provides that most novels do not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    Mystery in a southwestern setting

    Wild Indigo is a fun and suspenseful book to read that incorporates the mystic of the SW puebloan culture. Jamaica Wild witnesses a man's death on a fictional pueblo near Taos, NM. While Jamaica suspects the man was drugged, she's accused of murder and her boss putes her on probation. The mystery artfully weaves in Tanoah culture, and Jamaica's relationships with her pet wolf Mountain and her Tanoah 'mother' and medicine teacher. I can't wait to read Sandi Ault's next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    An Intelligent Mystery

    Sandi Ault¿s Wild Indigo is fast-moving and each chapter gives the reader a new perspective on the mystery surrounding Jerome Santana¿s death. Ault¿s skillful integration of these perspectives is part of what makes Wild Indigo such a delightful read! As I traveled deeper into Ault¿s magical and mysterious story, I came to know and care about its characters. If you enjoy a multi-layered mystery that keeps you on your toes and at the same time prompts you to think deeply about the issues and people involved, Wild Indigo is for you! I do have one criticism, however. Even though Wild Indigo is fiction, Ault¿s masterful weaving of myth and fact created a world so real and compelling that it drew me in from the moment I turned the first page in early evening and would not release me until I had turned the last page at nearly 4:00 A.M!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2007


    Sandi Ault's Wild Indigo is mesmerizing from the tragically mysterious beginning to the gripping on-the-edge-of-your-seat ending. Ms. Ault walks the reader directly into the breath taking vistas of Northern Mew Mexico and onto the fictional Tonoah Indian Pueblo with her incredible visuals. She expertly weaves the intricate tale of a Bureau of Land Management agent, Jamaica Wild, her heart rending relationship to her wolf pup, Mountain, adoptive pueblo family, and an ancient Hispanic spell casting healer. While the mystery around the death of one of the natives and disappearance of two others unfolds, we experience first hand pueblo life interwoven with a profound mystical belief system. Wild Indigo is a deeply felt, page turning glimpse into a world few of us would otherwise be privey to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Southwest mystery takes genre to new heights

    Sandi Ault's rich and mysterious story will instantly transport you to the magnificence of the Southwest. Although you will be curious as to what is causing the mysterious happenings on the Pueblo and to the feisty protagonist, Jamaica Wild, be sure to savor the rich, vivid descriptions of the landscape, get to know the complex and interesting characters and immerse yourself in the rituals of Native American life. This book takes the genre of Southwest mystery soaring to new heights. A treasure of a book! I'm looking forward to reading more about Jamaica Wild and her wolf, Mountain in future stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007


    I am so glad I discovered Sandi Ault's WILD INDIGO! It's the best book I've read in a long time. And yet, I'm so sorry I stayed up all night reading it, because now I'm tired and I have to work all day without having had a wink of sleep. But I couldn't put this book down! BLM Agent Jamaica Wild and her wonderful wolf companion Mountain feel like friends to me now, and I have spent most of the day wishing I could go back and be with them, spend time with them, get to know them even better. This is a wonderful mystery - I never would have guessed whodunnit! It's extremely unusual in terms of the crime and the resolution to the book. It's a wonderful book. Buy it, don't hesitate, just do it. But be forewarned: you won't be able to stop reading once you start.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Beautifully Written Mystery

    Sandi Ault has written a beautiful mystery novel that shows a deep insight into the customs and lives of a gentle people. Her heroine Jamica Wild and her companion wolf, Mountain are believable and make us want to read her next advewntures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    Great Book!! - Highly Recommended

    I read WILD INDIGO and found it fascinating. It is set in Northern New Mexico a place of great power and mystery and cultural diversity which is depected wonderfuly in the book. I loved the characters and am looking foward to the next book in the series. I am usually a slow reader but made it through this book in two days. I loved the wolf!! Highly recommended

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer


    Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agent Jamaica Wild is a liaison between her agency and the Tanoah Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. It is the period of Quiet Time, a sacred holiday where the Pueblo is closed to outsiders. Jamaica is there because she was invited by her mentor Momma Anna Montayo to cook and while there a child says the buffalo are loose from their pen. When she goes to investigate she sees Jerome Santana in the pen going towards the bulls who are ready to charge, a look of rapture on his face.-------------- He is killed but war chief Reuben Rael and Wrangler Sonny are more concerned that she is on the rez during Quiet Time. They escort her off their land but Jamica tells her boss that she thinks Jerome, who never uses, was on drugs. The tribe refuses to allow an autopsy and when Jamaica is on the land again, they complain to her boss, saying she caused the buffalo to stampede. He has no choice but to suspend her. Her investigation takes an odd turn, some of it mystical but it takes a near tragedy for the truth to come out.--------------- What Tony Hillerman and Aimee and David Thurlo do for the Navaho, Sandi Ault does for the Tanoah. Readers get a vividly descriptive look at their culture and belief system, trying to maintain the old ways while living in modern times. The heroine is a loving gutsy woman who keeps a wolf for a pet and refuses to let her suspension keep her down. She is a modern day warrior who takes action when she feels that is the proper cause.------------------ Harriet Klausner

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