The author's wisecracking, cynical, 40-ish John Waltz (The Club Paradis Murders, 1983) has a mother who lives in Arizona, writes successful romances under the name Angela Ravenglass and has just become engaged to American Indian and master Jefferson Horse. Her invitation brings John from his unflourishing headhunter business in Pittsburgh to Ember Hills, Arizona, and almost immediately he's involved in trying to solve the murder of leading Western sculptor Cal Morefield. Cal lived with much younger Lily Manygoats, also a sculptor, who has disappeared. Her lovelorn admirer and Horse's protâ€šgâ€š, painter Peter Red-house, is arrested for the murder--and John, Mother Ruth, Horse, Cal's frosty dealer Aileen Forsyte and foundry owner Ben Drummond plunge into the search for Lily and the true killer. It's soon apparent that Cal wasn't exactly the sweet genius everyone admired, but it takes a lot of chasing around rough terrain and some heavy overreaching by the fairly obvious culprit before our hero can get back to Pittsburgh. Some midway sag but a nice recovery along with a flesh setting, funny dialogue and a self-deprecating sleuth make this McCormick's best to date.