"Terrific private investigative tale"
At the Southwest Book Publisher's Expose, Gloriana Alden-
Taylor eats salad when the owner-publisher of Patriot's
Blood Press starts to feel chest pains. She keels over,
foams at the mouth and shortly dies. An autopsy reveals
she was poisoned with hemlock sprinkled on her salad; the
police arrest Gloriana's employee, Pima Indian Owen
Sisiwan for the crime. Earlier that day, group of
conference attendees led by Sisiwan went on a field trip
where the poisonous plant grew.
Former police officer Lena Jones opened up her own agency
after she was wounded on the job and her employee Johnny
is Owen's cousin. She knows Owen could never kill a
seventy-something year old woman even if she was a racist
who treated Owen like a second-class citizen. Her
publishing house published books that would appeal to the
Aryan nation and they made a lot of money that she used to
fix up the house she loved. Lena is determined to find
out which of the many people who had a motive to kill
Gloriana did the deed.
The protagonist is a person who keeps people at a distance
because of the abuses she suffered in foster care, but in
spite of the traumas she experienced, Lena is a determined
woman who will go the extra mile to see that justice is
served. The villainess of DESSERT SHADOW has so many
enemies including her employees, her own family and the
authors she could not care less about; it is impossible to
figure out who the perpetrator is. The juxtaposition of
the beauty of the Sonora Desert to the trappings of so-
called civilization makes Betty Webb's latest work a
terrific private investigative tale.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 6, 2004