When P.I. Lena Jones's Pima Indian partner Jimmy Sisiwan is arrested in the remote northern Arizona town of Walapai Flats, Lena rushes to his aid. She finds a town up in arms over a new uranium mine located only ten miles from the magnificent Grand Canyon. Jimmy's sister-in-law, founder of Victims of Uranium Mining, has been murdered, and the opposing side is taking hits, too. Then Ike Donohue, the mine's public relations flack, is found shot to death, casting suspicion on Jimmy and his entire family.
Lena finds not only a community decimated by dangerous mining practices, but a connection to actor John Wayne and the mysterious deaths tied to the 1953 filming of The Conqueror. Now it's up to Lena to uncover the decades-old tragedy no one in Walapai Flats wants to discuss.
About the Author
As a journalist, Betty Webb interviewed U.S. presidents, astronauts, and Nobel Prize winners, as well as the homeless, dying, and polygamy runaways. The dark Lena Jones mysteries are based on stories she covered as a reporter. Betty's humorous Gunn Zoo series debuted with the critically acclaimed The Anteater of Death , followed by The Koala of Death. A book reviewer at Mystery Scene Magazine , Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and the National Organization of Zoo Keepers. www.bettywebb-zoomystery.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sometimes, a novel’s ending spoils what preceded it. In this case, a well-thought-out plot concludes with a muddied confession to three murders. It begins when PI Lena Jones’ partner, Jimmy Sisiwan, disappears from Desert Investigations and Scottsdale and re-appears when he is arrested in the small Arizona town here his adopted family operates a dude ranch. It seems his “brother” is being held as a “material witness” in the murder of a PR flak for a uranium mine which is about to open nearby. Apparently Jimmy was attempting to “interview” witnesses and his efforts were “interpreted” as coercion. So, Lena to the rescue. Earlier, Jimmy’s sister-in-law was found shot to death. She was a kingpin in a group known as Victims of Uranium Mining, obviously those opposed to the opening of the mine, who were successful in obtaining a delay. As the story continues we learn a lot about the effects of bad mining practices on mine workers and of the atomic bomb tests in Nevada in the decades following World War II on local population and across the nation. The novel presents a well-drawn murder mystery, with interesting characters and a subject that is of vital importance. Some of it is a little gimmicky, but that really doesn’t detract from the importance of the subject. Recommended.