25 April 2011

WILD INDIGO: A Wild Mystery - Sandi Ault

From the back of the book: The high desert of New Mexico becomes the backdrop for this debut novel---one that "crackles with life and novelty" (The Washington Post)--of ancient rituals, restless spirits, a desperate female fed, and a crime that could destroy an entire culture...

Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man--he was trampled by buffalo. The tribe declares the incident a suicide, the FBI concurs, and the body is hurried to ceremony before the sun can go down on the man's spirit.

But Agent Wild suspects foul play. Haunted by his death, she pursues her own investigation, leading to a labyrinth of clandestine Pueblo religious rites, peyote cults, and Hispanic and Tiwa witchcraft. After the tribal government and local paper make allegations that Jamaica caused the stampede, she finds herself banned from the Pueblo, suspended from her job, and allied with an old, reclusive curandera who induces trances and casts spells. Jamaica is determined to solve this mystery by any means, but what is revealed is a greater secret regarding Tanoah Pueblo---one that threatens its future and its past.
I love finding a new to me mystery series, especially the ones set close to home. The book creates a draw that makes me want to visit the area at the soonest.
Sandi Ault has either lived this life or does a helluva fab job of researching all aspects of Pueblo life, herbal and witchcraft lore, federal agency bureaucracy and what it's like to live with a real wolf.
There are some scenes of Jamaica's past and past cases that I hope get addressed in future books in the series. Little cliffhangers abound to keep the reader asking for more info.

Four coming back for more beans.....

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