Why exactly is the eponymous heroine so bent on investigating the death of her ex-lover Roy Cross, a Navajo activist in New Mexico’s Pueblo country?
Maybe it’s the thin air of Taos. May it’s the thrill of packing a pistol. Maybe it’s just reckless self-regard that drives Cory to nose around over the objections of her current Pueblo lover (who makes cigar-store Indians look chatty), the victim’s widow, her lawyer, amid sundry other anonymous threats. Then again, it may be something about her house, once owned by a famous eccentric who consorted with D.H. Lawrence and enjoyed her own Pueblo lover, coincidentally the grandfather of Cory’s. Cory runs Mabel’s House as a guest house for skiers and tourists. When her guests are helplessly enjoying their dinner, authentic Southwest fare prepared by her Pueblo cook, she harangues them with a confrontational, EST-style philosophy that’s enough to unsettle everyone’s digestion. When her estranged sister, Apple, arrives, the tables are turned. Apple demands that Cory face problems from their shared past even though Cory insists she’s blissfully moved on. As for the mystery of Roy’s death, it’s solved about three-quarters of the way through, leaving plenty of time for Cory to focus on more important mysteries, like the female orgasm, relationships, etc.
Bingham (Transgressions, 2002, etc.) serves up an uneasy mixture of New Age self-realization and Cosmo feminism, less interested in whodunit than in “who done me.”