So West: Desert Justice
Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Members
DS Publishing, Jul 21 2012, $14.95
So West: Desert Justice contains twenty exciting crime capers that highlight the Southwest. In “Lucky Me” by Shannon Baker, Tom takes his wife Julie hiking the Grand Canyon and rafting the Colorado River in order to kill her so he can claim their then million dollar lottery winnings; he just forgot to read her résumé. Mara fears she suffers from Huntington Disease like her father did as she forgets things while her spouse Kenny has an affair in which the woman wants him to get rid of his wife (see “Totaled Recall” by Susan Badavari). Near Kartchner Caverns, the three friends since foster care have found another cavern that the pushy Ringo wants to develop into a tourist attraction; Morris and “Gee-Lee” plan to let him be sole owner, but he has similar ideas in Deborah J. Ledford’s twisting “Cave-in.” Ruthie sees “Dust to Dust” (by R K Olson) everywhere; so much so it hides the murdered corpse of elderly Mrs. Solomon. In 1928, female architectural students Frankie and Nora are at the construction site of the Arizona Biltmore wanting to meet the master Frank Lloyd Wright but are unprepared for “Death by Design” (by Judy Starbuck). In “A Season For Death” by Judith Starkston, retiree Jim cares for his Alzheimer’s- suffering wife Lizzie who wants to die rather than live like this. This is a thrilling anthology as the Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime once again combine twisting suspense with strong protagonists (even with no stories over fifteen pages) set in a diverse but vivid Southwest.