Desert Noir by Betty Webb
(Lena Jones Mysteries)

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Synopsis

Survival in the upscale Scottsdale art scene depends on how well a private eye does her footwork… At the age of four, private detective Lena Jones had been found lying unconscious by the side of an Arizona highway, a bullet robbing her of her memories. Now the scarred survivor of a dozen foster homes, Lena has vowed to find the truth about her origins—no matter how terrible that truth might be.

In Desert Noir, the first of the Lena Jones mysteries, Lena’s quest is interrupted when her friend, heiress Clarice Kobe, is beaten to death in the Western Heart Art Gallery. Lena and her Pima Indian partner Jimmy Sisiwan at first suspect the art dealer’s abusive husband, but their investigations soon reveal that domestic violence was hardly the only problem in the victim’s troubled life. Clarice, for all her money and beauty, had a dark side; her enemies far outnumbered her friends. Among those who wished her dead are George Haozous, the fiery Apache artist whose graphic work she once banned from her gallery. Another enemy is Dulya Albundo, the daughter of an elderly Hispanic woman whose death was directly attributable to the art dealer’s greed. Even Clarice’s parents—wealthy land developers whose housing tracts have ravaged the beautiful Sonoran Desert—appear to be oddly untroubled by their daughter’s death. Lena’s search for Clarice’s killer brings violence back into her own life, yet it also brings her closer to the solution of her own mystery—her real identity. Set against the backdrop of the posh Scottsdale, Arizona art scene and the nearby Indian reservations, Desert Noir heralds the debut of a detective as wounded as her clients, a woman battling her own demons while trying to rescue others from theirs.
 

About Betty Webb

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As a journalist, Betty Webb has interviewed U.S. presidents, astronauts who walked on the moon, and Nobel Prize-winners, as well as the homeless, the dying, and polygamy runaways. The seven Lena Jones mysteries, based on stories she covered as a reporter, include Desert Lost, Desert Noir, and Desert Wives. A long-time book reviewer at Mystery Scene Magazine, Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women and Mystery Writers of America. You can contact her at www.bettywebb-mystery.com.
 
Published January 4, 2012 by Poisoned Pen Press. 265 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Desert Noir

Kirkus Reviews

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But Solomon Royal, the polygamous Prophet of Purity, a compound on the border of Arizona and Utah, leaves behind so many widows—from his eldest wife, nonpareil cook Sister Ermaline, to Valkyrie Sister Martha and pregnant Sister Jean—that Utah authorities decide to simplify matters, bypassing them...

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Publishers Weekly

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Webb pulls no punches in exploring another human rights issue in her excellent seventh mystery starring Arizona PI Lena Jones (after 2009’s Desert Lost).

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Publishers Weekly

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Scouting locations with her film director boyfriend on a sparkling mountain morning, Arizona cop-turned-PI Lena Jones stumbles across a nightmare: the freshly dumped corpse of a little girl.

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Publishers Weekly

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When Gloriana Alden-Taylor, the 75-year-old patrician founder of controversial Patriot's Blood Press, is fatally poisoned at the banquet held at the annual Southwest Book Publisher's Expo (SOBOP), Lena's Pima Indian partner, Jimmy Sisiwan, enlists Lena's aid in trying to prove the innocence of th...

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Publishers Weekly

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Dark humor and thrilling action inform Webb's second Lena Jones mystery (after 2001's Desert Noir), a searing exposé of the abuses of contemporary polygamy.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Readers first met Arizona private investigator Lena Jones in Betty Webb's acclaimed debut novel, Desert Noir.

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Reviewing the Evidence

I started with the first, DESERT NOIR, then, in quick succession read DESERT WIVES and DESERT SHADOWS within only a few weeks before reading DESERT RUN.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Lena Jones gave up being a cop after being shot in the hip.

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Reader Rating for Desert Noir
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