Go to Homepage   Aimée & David Thurlo: Red Mesa


Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: four moon gifForge (Hardcover), ISBN 0-312-87060-4
I never visited the reservation ("the Rez"), nor enjoyed the honor of knowing one of the People (the Navaho, or the Dineh), but the Thurlos make me feel as if I have. Their sleuth, Ella Clah, will always be one of my special protagonists. Red Mesa, the sixth in the Ella Clah series, just adds new gloss to the Thurlos' grand tradition of story telling. If contemporary mysteries that, in my opinion, outrank Tony Hillerman's best rate high on your list of "I've-been-looking-for-a-great-read," then place this book in the number one slot.

Book: Kate Sedley, The Brothers of Glastonbury Ella, a former FBI agent now serving as a member of the Tribal Police, heads a special investigative team. Her cousin Justine belongs to the team, but Justine and Ella find themselves at loggerheads. Justine disappears, and burned bones are found at Red Mesa, where Ella and her cousin met to reconcile their differences. Evidence found at the scene points to Ella as Justine's murderer. In addition, Ella's enemies circulate and feed rumors that make it seem that Ella embraces the evils she used to fight. Her brother Clifford, a medicine man or hataali, falls under suspicion as well -- not of murder but of being corrupted by his sister's evil.

Using all her skills, worrying about her mother, her daughter and her brother, Ella must solve the murder while on the run from both the Tribal Police and the FBI. The plot gallops over a dusty desert, into deserted hogans and grows ever more involved -- and perhaps leaves a few clues as to Ella's next case (which I wish the authors would hurry up and write!)

Book: Kate Sedley, A Wicked WinterOne of the more fully realized characters of modern mystery fiction, Ella Clah trusts her training. But living between two worlds, walking a narrow line between the old world and the new, between the traditional beliefs and what she must do in her work leaves Ella prey to doubts and fears. Her problems grow logically out of her position in her world.

Not only a great summer read, Red Mesa just happens to be a book for all seasons. Grab it and the other five books as well. You won't regret it.

Patricia Lucas White

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