A Bend in the Snake: A Brenda Tower Mystery

A Bend in the Snake: A Brenda Tower Mystery

by LaMar A. Palmer


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A heavy set, thirty-year-old Mexican named Carlos Mendoza crosses the border illegally and travels to Elam's Crossing in Washington State's Palouse country, arriving when his cousin, Ramiro Sanchez is planning a burglary. The crafty Sanchez convinces two harvest coworkers and roommates to take part. Although Sanchez grew up in Mexico with Mendoza, he knows nothing of his cousin's adult past: pimp and drug dealer, enforcer, hit man, and guerilla fighter in Guatemala. At the last minute, he secretly invites Mendoza to the farmhouse he and his buddies plan to burglarize. Things go horribly wrong that morning. Nothing turns out like the three harvest workers had planned. And Mendoza whines that it was not worth his trouble.

Raised on a ranch in Colorado, the single, disarmingly attractive police detective, Brenda Tower, possess the grit and the experience for homicide that keeps her name at the top of Chief Lowery's duty roster. Finally able to break away for a vacation, Brenda is traveling with a friend to Lake Coeur d'Alene when she makes a discovery. Intrigued by the circumstances surrounding the wheat field murder of prominent farmer, Art Sabin, the tenacious and self confident Brenda makes a nuisance of herself at the crime scene. Her suspicion that someone has abducted a boy from the pickup where she found his grandfather, prompts Brenda to abandon her vacation and stay to assist the sheriff with his case. With his help, they find evidence on the ground supporting her theory.

Tall, broad shouldered, forty year old, Lin Stone turned in his police badge in St. Louis, Missouri, seeking calmer pastures following the breakup of his marriage six year earlier. As the sheriff' of small Columbia County, Washington, (one town and one village), his force lacks homicide experience. Stone also knows Deputy Hardesty will never let him live it down if he lets the big city detective go. Stone accepts Tower's offer to stay and help. What Stone and his gung ho volunteer detective find in the hours and days that follow change everything. The twists and turns as they identify suspects and track responsibility for the mayhem and murder are like the twists and turns of the nearby Snake River. After spending time in the arms of the sheriff, the vulnerable Brenda, badly hurt in the recent past, considers breaking her hard and fast rule of dating no one she could possibly fall in love with.

Revenge is a powerful human trait that can drive men, and women alike, to behave in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us who are untarnished by vengeful hearts. This is especially true when the wrong committed against someone takes place years, even decades ago. Revenge is at the root of the mystery in A Bend in the Snake.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490498263
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/11/2013
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

LaMar A. Palmer was born in Washington State on March 31, 1941, the first child of Arden Newel (1912-1968) and Mamie Olsen Palmer (1913-1991). He lived in Hanford, Prosser, and Pasco, Washington, before his family settled on a small farm outside of Pasco when he was twelve. He graduated high school in 1959 and attended Brigham Young University on an athletic scholarship. He married his high school sweetheart, Joan Whitten, in 1964 following active duty with the U.S. Army reserves and a church mission assignment to France (6/1961-12/1963). He completed a B.A. and an M.A. at Washington State University (1967 and 1969), and finished his Ph.D. in history at the University of Washington in 1974. He and Joan raised four children. Following several years in which he was self-employed and taught an occasional college history course, he accepted a training position on a billion dollar construction project in 1981. That began a thirty year career in nuclear-related training and human performance improvement, including fifteen years as a consultant. He retired in 2011. LaMar and Joan live near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in a country home they helped build in 2004.
The Transferee, an FBI adventure set in Seattle, (unpublished) was his first creative writing experience. When Secret Service Special Agent Regina Singleton receives a death threat, is shot at, and forced to leave town, she accepts a temporary undercover assignment with the FBI on a counter terrorism task force shadowing a white supremacist organization bent on turning back the social clock. His second project is a mystery titled, A Bend in the Snake, set in the wheat country of southeastern Washington. When vacationing Police Detective Brenda Tower discovers a man dead in his pickup and determines a teenage grandson was likely with the prominent farmer when he was killed, she sheds her vacation and her big city protocols to help a small county, laconic sheriff stop a killer before he strikes again.
Palmer's ancestry is English, Norwegian, and Swedish. He is six foot tall and weighs 220 lbs. He and Joan owned an antiques business for several years. He loves antique automobiles and their shows, and sometimes drives a 1939 burgundy Chevrolet street rod. He attends church regularly where he teaches an adult Sunday school class.

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