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At the start of Webb's fast-paced fourth Lena Jones mystery (after 2004's Desert Shadows), the scrappy workaholic PI is supervising security for filmmaker Warren Quinn, who's shooting a documentary about the escape of German POWs from a prison camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1944. When someone murders the leader of the escapees, arrogant, disagreeable Erik Ernst, now 91 and retired in Scottsdale, suspicion falls on the former U-boat commander's Ethiopian immigrant care-giver, Rada Tesema. Believing Tesema to be innocent, Lena agrees to investigate. Meanwhile, Lena's personal life is in disarray. Raised in foster homes and wary of close relationships, she's drawn to Quinn but is suspicious of his motives. Her partner in Desert Investigations, Jimmy Sisiwan, is getting married and taking a job with Lena's biggest customer, while Lena's mentor in the Scottsdale police department is returning to Brooklyn. Webb combines evocative descriptions of place with fine historical research in a plot packed with twists. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Webb bases her latest Lena Jones adventure on a real episode in Arizona history: the great escape of 25 Germans from Camp Papago, a POW camp located between Phoenix and Scottsdale. Famous director Warren Quinn is making a documentary about the escape, and Lena's firm, Desert Investigations, is hired to handle security for the project. One of the escaped POWs, Erik Ernst, still lives in Scottsdale and is starring in the movie. When he is found murdered, Rada Tesema, his Ethiopian caregiver, is immediately suspected. Rada pleads for Lena to help prove him innocent, and she soon learns that Ernst had a huge number of enemies, many of whom would have gladly seen him dead. Readers may wonder why the brainy and beautiful Lena would begin dating whiny and pedantic Warren, but that's the only slightly off note in an otherwise fascinating adventure. As in the preceding episodes in the series, Webb effectively evokes the beauty of the Arizona desert. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.