Pairing with the National Park Service to catch dealers in stolen artifacts gets personal for a private investigator whose best friend has been taken down by a smuggling ring.
It’s lucky for Rose Delgado that her best friend, Gina Miyoko, is a private eye, because some sort of stalker is following Rose. The two set up a trap, and without too much effort, Rose and Gina discover that the tail is archaeology Ph.D.–turned-journalist Cruz Veras, who just wants a chance to talk with Rose about her undercover work chasing pot-hunters with the National Park Service. A little disappointed by the lack of excitement in the case, Gina, aka Tinkerbell or Tink (as no one appears to call her), digs into Cruz’s background to discover that he seems to be…exactly who he says he is. It’s another letdown for Gina, who wasn’t hoping for danger exactly, but maybe for something a little edgier. But Cruz isn’t the only one who’s been following Rose, and the other person in pursuit may have a dangerous connection to one of Rose’s recent cases, which focused on the thieves who resold antiquities from national parks and monuments. Rose and Gina track down Ted Bridges, one of the middlemen dealers, with the blessing and funding of the NPS, and are preparing to go into full investigative mode when tragedy strikes, killing Ted and putting Rose out of commission, maybe indefinitely. As much as Gina wants to stay local and care for her ailing friend, she won’t be satisfied until she has someone to blame. So she gamely takes Rose’s place in the undercover op, supported by Cruz’s cunning and archaeological know-how. Their quest to nab the big dogs of the operation lands them in over their heads because there’s an insider connection even the most savvy dealers won’t mess with.
Best known as a collaborator on the Star Wars series (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2013, etc.), Bohnhoff combines well-paced adventure and double-crossing in her mystery debut, although some of the distinctive character traits she incorporates are hit-or-miss.