Books by A.J. Orde

LOOKING FOR THE AARDVARK by A.J. Orde
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

From Orde (a.k.a. Sheri S. Tepper), a fourth outing for Denver interior-designer Jason Lynx (Death for Old Times' Sake, etc.), who, here, agrees to look into the murder of a friend's half- brother—Ernie Quivada, whom Jason remembers as intrusive, unruly, unpleasant, and given to loudly praying over so-called sinners. The late Ernie, a preacher, had his throat slit in his Santa Fe church- -a murder committed right in front of an altar painting done by his fiercely talented artist wife, Margaret. Jason quickly becomes fascinated with the cool and remote Margaret and learns, among other things, that Ernie thought her artwork wicked and so disapproved of her friendship with art-teacher Joy Shepherd that he moved the family from Oklahoma to New Mexico to break it up. But Margaret's art prevailed, and her mentor, a 91-year-old gallery owner, had just promised her a show before Ernie died. Jason's cop pal Grace visits—and comes back with some insights Jason would rather not recognize: lesbianism, for instance. There will be another death and more religion run amok before Ernie's last Scripture lesson reveals why he had to die—and by whom. A glum, dour read. Unlike the previous Jason Lynx books, preachy—on every level. Read full book review >
DEATH FOR OLD TIME'S SAKE by A.J. Orde
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 1992

The third outing for Denver antiques dealer/decorator Jason Lynx (Death and the Dogwalker; A Little Neighborhood Murder) reopens an issue Jason thought was permanently closed: Who badly burned him as a toddler and abandoned him to an orphanage? As Jason searches for the author of the extortion letters he finds in the effects of his foster father, it becomes clear that the person was related to simple-minded domestic Simonetta Fixe, who was murdered with an ice pick in front of an abortion clinic during a sit-in while Jason, unknowingly, watched it happen. Then the killer snipes at Jason, and, while gal pal Grace, a cop, tries to keep him safe, Jason runs afoul of the mob-connected Fixe family—in which two arranged marriages thwarted Jason's foster dad from marrying his true love in one case and may have resulted in Jason's illegitimate birth in the other. Meanwhile, more murders are revealed, and the more family secrets Jason uncovers, the less he's inclined to introduce himself properly to his birth family. One final death puts paid to an old family oath, and brings about Jason's ultimate acceptance of his roots. Complex, rich, and finely drawn. Jason's craving for a family and his ambivalence toward this specific one are strong stuff. A winner. Read full book review >