A dig in Mississippi is almost the death of Archaeologist Faye Longchamp (Artifacts, 2003, etc.) and her housemate Joe Wolf Mantooth.
The crew hired to document an endangered area on the property of a Choctaw archaeologist whose family and tribe have mixed feelings about digging up their past can’t help eying farmer Carroll Calhoun’s spectacular mound across the road. The day after he refuses permission to investigate to the professor in charge, Calhoun attempts to destroy the mound, fearing the authorities will confiscate his land. A dangerous standoff is defused when Nashoba County Sheriff Neely Rutland arrives and agrees to look into the legal issues. Racism rears its head when a locally born black man, Lawrence Johnson Judd, a retired congressman, gives a speech at the county fair in which he tells of being hooded and nearly beaten to death before the last-minute arrival of an unseen man. When Calhoun’s throat is cut by a stone weapon and Judd almost dies from an overdose, Faye’s curiosity gets the best of her. Faye, Joe and attractive visiting racial activist Ross Donnelly set out to find the site of Judd’s attack. Trapped in a cave, they manage to escape and confront the killer at a public forum where the sins of the past prove to be the motive for murder.
A captivating combination of archeology, Native-American tales, romance and detection. A must-read for those so inclined.