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Desert Shadows: A Lena Jones Mystery    by Betty Webb order for
Desert Shadows
by Betty Webb
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Betty Webb's second novel, Desert Wives, she presented such a case all documented against polygamy and the accompanying abuses that the book is now in development to become a television movie. After reading it, I couldn't wait for her next mystery featuring PI Lena Jones who is something of a mystery herself.

Shot by her mother at age four, Lena misspent her young years in a series of foster homes. An ex-cop and now a PI, Lena Jones takes on the pro bono case of a Pima Indian accused of murdering his employer at a publisher's conference. The woman died by ingesting water hemlock think Socrates. Webb has a great story line here, that flows from her computer with the expertise of one who knows what she's about. The action races from one crisis to another, introducing characters who each have an agenda. Being a fledgling writer myself, I found the peek into the world of publishing fascinating. Webb does her homework. Her take on the state of publishers will interest any reader.

The backdrop for her books Arizona is a character all in itself. One day, Lena Jones will be the protagonist of her own TV series. Though I could watch just to see the beauty of the desert, Lena will be my main focus.

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