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by Jake Page

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1996
ISBN: 0-345-38784-8
Publisher: Ballantine

 Against an uneasy backdrop of killings--two unidentified Anglo women have been found killed and discarded (one in the town dump, the other in a dumpster) over the past two weeks--Southwest Creations Gallery manager Anita Montague is murdered and shoved into a nearby drainpipe. All Santa Fe bubbles with rumors about the Trasher's third strike, but there's another possibility closer to home. Elijah Potts, Southwest Creations' freewheeling principal owner, had just unveiled a trove of seven newly discovered Georgia O'Keeffe paintings for authentication, and once the police find threads from Potts's Harris tweed jacket under Anita's fingernails, they see her murder as fallout from an art fraud scheme and go to arrest Potts--who's delighted to see them, since he mistakenly assumes they've come to check out his 911 complaint that the paintings have been stolen. Luckily for Potts, blind sculptor Mo Bowdre (The Knotted Strings, p. 111, and two others) agrees to prove his innocence in return for half of the canvases value. But will Mo's salvage fee be a fat seven figures, or half of nothing? As usual, Mo heads an agreeably venal, zany cast, and the culprit is well-hidden--if you can overlook the casually culpable use of the long arm of coincidence.