Charlie Moon (Dead Soul, 2004, etc.), the droll Ute tribal investigator turned rancher, journeys to the bottom of Spirit Canyon and finds . . . nothing.
What happened to Jacob Gourd Rattle, last seen pummeling his wife and digging an ominously shaped hole? The day he vanished, bossy old Jane Cassidy’s personal museum of treasures, curated by her nephew Bertie, was robbed of coins and cameos supposedly worth millions. Snobbish antiques dealer Ralph Briggs, a regular at Charlie Moon’s poker table, barely has time to tell Charlie about a shady deal someone has just offered him when he’s shot in the chest, so scaring the witness Miss James, Charlie’s main squeeze, that she hightails it to Baltimore. Meanwhile, at a roadblock for museum thieves, apache Felix Navarone winds up in a tree where he tussles with Officer Jim Wolfe. Felix’s only visitor in stir is Eddie Ganado, the luckless Navajo now working as a legal assistant, who quickly comes to a dead end. So does poor Officer Wolfe, who passed his last days by stealing “corpse powder” from Charlie’s shaman auntie. When the FBI is called in, toothsome Special Agent McTeague attracts the admiration and lust of Charlie, rousing him to Poirot-like insights and Spenser-like wisecracks.
A classy bit of storytelling that combines myth, dreams, and plot complications so wily they’ll rattle your synapses and tweak your sense of humor. For a good time, read Doss.