by Betty Webb
Cults and communes, terrifying memories, and learning to love and trust all take top billing in Betty Webb’s Desert Redemption. I have read several other mysteries in this series, and this one is probably the best. The plot is intricate with difficult to determine motivations and victims found in various locations, but with similar causes of death. As P.I. Lena Jones has reasons to take the deaths personally, she gives more than one hundred percent of effort to solving the cases. This fast paced mystery has a lot of excitement, some danger, and an unusual method of escape. There are interesting subplots involving Lena’s goddaughter and Lena’s relationship with her patient Pima boyfriend. Most important, however, is a thread that keeps popping up about a woman named Helen. This part of the tale occurs 35 years prior to the current action. At first the significance of the thread and its relationship to the main plot is obscure, but it broadens and develops as Lena remembers more of her past.
Desert Redemption is the tenth and last book in the Lena Jones Mystery Series. In it author Webb brings closure to Lena’s storyline—past, present, and future. Even though Lena’s story reaches a conclusion, the final novel just piques my interest to watch this talented P.I. at work on previous cases. The characters are interesting. I particularly enjoyed the relationship Lena has with Sylvie Perrins, her “frenemy” from the Scottsdale Police. They engage in humorous and biting repartee, but obviously have respect for each other. The Arizona desert backdrop is almost a minor character and one that makes the story more interesting. This is a book you will want to search out for its many good features, but especially to watch Lena solve possibly the most intricate puzzle of her career.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Poisoned Pen Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #10 in the Lena Jones Mystery Series, but will work as a standalone.
Publication: March 12, 2019—Poisoned Pen Press
I wouldn’t be a teenager again for all the money in the world. Everything was now or never, black or white, ecstasy or sorrow.
Downtime can be dangerous time for me, because when I have nothing to do, my mind acts up. It always wants to take me on a forced march down Memory Lane, where monsters dwelled.
We’d lost one of the great saguaros, though. It had been split apart by lighting, its skeleton scattered along the desert floor. A reminder that nature could be cruel as well as kind. As could people.