Books by Taffy Cannon

BLOOD MATTERS by Taffy Cannon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 2007

"The solid police procedural moves along smoothly until the well-disguised villain is revealed."
A transplanted Texan helps solve a quirky California murder. Read full book review >
PARADISE LOST by Taffy Cannon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Cannon (Open Season on Lawyers, 2001, etc.) balances heart and bite in her brisk new stand-alone."
College student Holly Constantine's good sense and good humor save the day when she becomes the victim of a byzantine kidnap plot. Read full book review >
THE TUMBLEWEED MURDERS by Rebecca Rothenberg
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A beacon for those who have ever loved a married man and wondered if it would turn out right, plus just enough scientific sprinklings to make the reader an instant expert on mycorrhizal fungi."
Lost en route to Erasmo Campos's farm to examine peach rot, plant pathologist Claire Staples (The Shy Tulip Murders, 1996, etc.) stops at Jewell Scoggins's trailer for directions and is fascinated by the woman's past, when she went by the name of Cherokee Rose and fronted for a local country band. A day later, Jewell is dead, and Claire and her co-worker Ramon have turned up another body, now reduced to bones and wire-rimmed glasses, on Campos's property. Could the corpse belong to Elliot Klein, the petroleum engineer who wooed Jewell back in the '50s, then disappeared without a trace? And whatever happened to his inseparable sidekick Clyde? With the help of Ramon's brilliant but paranoid cousin, investigative reporter Yolanda—now living in fear of C.C. Tidwell, the subject of one of her all-too-successful exposés—Claire tracks down a former band member, his jealous wife, and Elliot's younger brother. One more will die and Claire will nearly drown in the Kern River before crimes both old and new are resolved in this complex blend of romance, science, and ingenious clues. Rothenberg, who died before completing the fourth in the series, is well-served by her friend Cannon, who finishes the tale with brio, intelligence, and a respect for the biota of California's unadmirable San Joaquin Valley. Read full book review >
OPEN SEASON ON LAWYERS by Taffy Cannon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 2001

"The resulting lack of suspense prevents this brightly malicious tale from living up to its inspired title—except, of course, for folks whose idea of a perfect read is nonstop dead lawyers."
Yes, that's right: Biker lawyer Roger Coskins, ambulance-chasing Warren Richardson, restaurant-botulism defender Bill Burke, and Lawrence Benton, the anti-fast-food litigator ("Mr. Coffee"), are only the first casualties in an all-out war on Southland attorneys. Noting the gruesome similarities between each counsel's means of exit and the way he plied his trade, Det. Joanna Davis, LAPD Robbery-Homicide, can't find any other common grounds among them thicker than their diplomas, or any physical clues, witnesses, or suspects worth pursuing. As she makes the rounds asking routine questions of surviving relatives—including a healthy dose of the trophy widows Cannon (Guns and Roses, 2000, etc.) does so well—the body count, boosted by false leads and copycat killings, heads toward the boiling point. But things never boil over because the snappy descriptions and dialogue are stuck with a pokey plot in which the only big events are the discoveries of more stiffening officers of the court. By the time the killer, who calls himself Ace when he's not using one of a half-dozen aliases, decides to take a personal interest in the lady cop about to trace him to a quiet Iowa town whose citizens just can't believe that boy could have done such awful things, all hope of originality has fled faster than a billable hour. Read full book review >
TANGLED ROOTS by Taffy Cannon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

No joy for California State Bar investigator Nan Robinson. Her pregnant sister Julie's husband, Adam, of Pettigrew Nurseries, has been arrested for killing his childhood pal Shane Pettigrew. (The police case is vintage Southern California: They've found Adam's gun and one of his trademark Xylifresh gum wrappers at the scene.) Adam's defense: Some Other Dude Did It. So Nan goes to work interviewing Shane's relatives and employees, and an unlovely bunch they are, even the ones sharing beds. His curt, unloving father, Angus, premier San Diego floriculturist, has never fully recovered from the kidnapping and murder of Shane's sister Amelia as a child; Shane's ex-wife Sara comes complete with an awful brother with all sorts of unsavory connections; and the nursery staff is a-twitter over the chance that Shane's former greenhouse assistant and lover, Kimberly Wilkes, now working at rival grower Transbloom, might have taken tissues for some groundbreaking new flower Shane was cultivating, a yellow alstromeria or such, with her. On top of everything else, divisive rumors that the amusement conglomerate Fairy Tale World is interested in building on the Pettigrew grounds had Shane's tanned, blond survivors at each others' throats. As Nan sagely observes, ``The situation was beyond awkward. It was untenable.'' High-concept background, low-concept plot—tangled roots indeed—but still an advance on Nan's cutesy debut in A Pocketful of Karma (1993). Read full book review >
A POCKETFUL OF KARMA by Taffy Cannon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 15, 1993

California Bar investigator Nan Robinson's former secretary and childhood friend Debra La Roche is missing, missing, missing. By the time Debra finally turns up in her car trunk in an airport lot, Nan has broken into her house, gone through her mail, and phoned her abusive ex, Tony Fontaine, and her current boyfriends—a rough crowd, natch. She's also talked to Jonathan and April Henley (co-founders of the Past Lives Institute, where Debra had been both a client and an employee); to Coleen McIlheney, the therapist who introduced Debra to her earlier incarnations via hypnosis; to Brother Bartholomew, a sexy, monklike child of the 60's (a fugitive from Cannon's first novel, Convictions, 1985); and to lots and lots of others, most of them sensitive to a fault. Eventually, Nan also finds time to bed down with hunky Jonathan. Bad karma, though it could help pass the time in a therapist's waiting room. A reincarnation—sorry, a sequel—is foretold. Read full book review >