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Miles, who published Missing at Tenoclock (1994) under the pseudonym Arthur Williams, unmasks himself for this sequel. It begins with a lion loose in the streets of cash-poor, crime-rich Tenoclock, Colorado, and proceeds to enough other prodigies to gladden the hearts of millenialists everywhere--an earth tremor that doesn't show up on the recording equipment at Denver, a fire that destroys the courthouse annex and ancient custodian Amos Pinkstaff, an Alamosa junkman found dead with a Ute arrow in his neck, a bar fight broken up by a stranger in full skin-diving regalia. The hearts that aren't gladdened are those of the venal, suppressive town fathers, who don't find the crime-and-circus spree at all consistent with their vision of marketing Tenoclock as the next Vail--and who promise Sheriff Johnnie Baker a fight for her job if she doesn't solve both murders (a third looms) and clear up the other riddles posthaste, and maybe even if she does. Fortunately, puddinghead visiting Ute historian Noah Webster's persistent nosy questions will make the mystery about as tough to solve as a two-piece jigsaw. A chamber mystery that can't help looking kind of puny amid the wide open spaces.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1996
Page count: 252pp
Publisher: Walker