MUMBO JUMBO by Kathryn Lasky Knight


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 When children's book illustrator Calista Jacobs (Trace Elements, Mortal Words) joins brilliant archaeologist/lover Archie and her teen-aged son Charley at a Red Forks, Arizona, dig, the two are grumpy: a bunch of New Agers have bought up vast acreage, dubbed it ``Rancho Radiance,'' and now refuse to let them ``disturb'' the spirits of the ancients with research trenches. Moreover, two longtime Red Forks residents--elderly Mayor Tonk and independent oldster Claudie--have wandered off and may be dead. Then Calista recognizes the New Age sect leader, Pahata Ra, as her former Bryn Mawr roommate--the bed-hopping Harriet Levine. What's her scam? Before you can say ``bilk a widow,'' Charley finds Tonk, the two are kidnapped, and Calista and Archie are in pursuit.... Amusing stuff that wears thin very quickly with its predictable targets--licentious swamis, the pay-and-pray converts, etc.--and Calista and Charley, previously notable for their intelligence and exuberance, are awfully subdued here, though Charley still charms.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-68448-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1991