For all its austere beauty, southwestern Utah proves a place of great danger for a visiting journalist.
Terry Hart and her Aunt Judith are touring the Southwest in their RV. Arriving at Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument, they hike into a perilous adventure. While exploring a remote corner, Terry discovers the mummified body of Melanie Briggs, who’s gone missing from a local university dig. The sheriff labels the death an accident, but Terry has her doubts. Melanie had loudly suggested that the ancient tribes were cannibals making enemies among the local native peoples. Aunt Judith is even more disturbed by the fact that an old friend she’d planned to visit at a local home for seniors has reportedly moved to Seattle, something she never mentioned in her letters to Judith. Despite the troubling developments, Terry feels a romantic glow from both Nick Bradshaw, the attractive professor running the dig, and Chris Robbins, a local pilot who helps her search for the graves of several seniors who vanished from the home. While Judith, nursing an injured leg, is enjoying the company of the local doctor, cautious Terry explores the wild land, growing more rash in a search for clues that marks her for murder.
Departing from her Belle Palmer series (Memories Are Murder, 2007, etc.), Allin paints an enticing portrait of the Southwest and adds appealing sleuths, a touch of romance and enough red herrings for an enjoyable mystery.