A Navajo and an Anglo join forces to solve a murder.
Even though he’s an Anglo, Tom Stuart, who owns The Outpost, has always been like a father to his Navajo employee Josephine Buck. When Tom is found shot to death, Jo must put aside the lessons that will train her to become a healer. Tom’s son Ben, returning home on compassionate leave from the Army, is shocked to learn that Tom has left the trading post to Jo, although Tom inherits everything else. Ben and his father had long butted heads, and Jo, who was Ben’s high school girlfriend, had dumped him over his bad behavior. Trying to rise above Ben’s skepticism over how she influenced his father, Jo vows to keep The Outpost in business and care for the staff, who all badly need their jobs. Despite Tom’s doubts, sexual sparks still fly when the pair get together. Once the sheriff’s department gets stuck, Ben and Jo set out to find the killer. Jo receives phone threats for her troubles, and the trading post and house are broken into and searched, clearly by someone desperate to recover something Tom hid. Ben, who served as both a sniper and a medic, is still dealing with issues from his overseas service. But when someone starts shooting at him and Jo and hijacks their van on the way home from a Mexican buying trip, he only becomes more determined to find his father’s killer.
The latest from the Thurlos, who’ve spent a great deal of time on the rez (Black Thunder, 2011, etc.), offers the usual insights into Navajo life but is much more romance than mystery.