Puckish Charlie Moon, Southern Ute Tribal Investigator, and his irascible aunt Daisy, an aged shaman, once again defeat pomposity, linear reasoning and assorted illegalities.
Manfred Blinkoe, a well-heeled orthodontist living large on the proceeds of a DC-3 hijacking years ago, has problems. His trophy wife Pansy is trying to pass off her high-school sweetheart as her brother. An assassin who claims to have aimed at him has killed a diner at another table in a tony restaurant. Granite Creek Police Chief Scott Parris, ignorant of the ill-gotten gains and finding the dentist a mite paranoid, sics him on Charlie (The Witch’s Tongue, 2004, etc.), who isn’t much interested in protecting him either. Then Blinkoe’s boat blows up, perhaps with him aboard, and Pansy disappears. Daisy has a vision that indicates the location of the blonde, but soon after her message goes astray, poor Daisy’s trailer is consumed in a kerosene fire. FBI Special Agent Lila Mae McTeague is busy nosing around for Blinkoe and handing $20 bills to an informant who uses the code name “Scarf.” Novice driver Daisy runs over a cop’s wooden foot while she chases after Pansy. Lila Mae spars with Charlie, who gives her a few tips but withholds a lot more, and ultimately it takes two masquerades to untangle the mystery.
Boasts practical jokes and tongue-in-cheek humor that would be a credit to both Tony Hillerman and the Marx Brothers.