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Wild Indigo [Hardcover]

Sandi Ault

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Book Description

Jan. 2 2007 Jamaica Wild Mysteries (Book 1)
INTRODUCING JAMAICA WILD-AND THE BEGINNING OF A THRILLING NEW SERIES. The high desert of New Mexico becomes the backdrop for this debut novel of ancient rituals, restless spirits, a desperate female Fed, and a crime that could destroy an entire culture . . .

Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man trampled to death by stampeding buffalo. The tribe has declared the incident a suicide, the FBI concurs, and the body is hurried to ceremony before the sun can go down on his spirit.

But Agent Wild suspects foul play. Haunted by the memory of the welts on the man's body, and the strange ecstasy in his eyes, she pursues her own investigation, which leads her into a labyrinth of clandestine Pueblo religious rites, peyote cults, and Hispanic and Tiwa witchcraft. But Jamaica has promised the mother of the victim, the beloved matriarch of the Santana family, that she will find out what really happened to her son. Until Anna Santana took her in long ago, Jamaica was a stray, much like the wary wolf pup she has just rescued.

When the tribal government and the local paper make allegations that Jamaica caused the stampede, she soon finds herself banned from the Pueblo, suspended from her job-and allied with an old, reclusive curandera who induces trances and casts spells. Ultimately, Jamaica will discover that the answer to the mystery is contained in another secret, perhaps the greatest secret regarding Tanoah Pueblo-one that threatens its future and its past.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Crime (TRD); 1 edition (Jan. 2 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425213692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425213698
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,751,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

Jamaica Wild, a resource-protection agent for the Bureau of Land Management, fails to save Jerome Santana from being trampled by a herd of buffalo. In fact, the leadership of the Tanoah Pueblo in New Mexico blames her for starting the stampede, not to mention the fact that she was on Pueblo land during Quiet Time, when visitors aren't allowed. Jamaica's investigation to prove Santana's death was murder--freeing her from culpability--leads to an exciting mountain rescue. As she investigates, Jamaica continues to maintain close ties with Momma Anna, Santana's mother, from whom she is learning about Pueblo life. In addition to her Native American studies, Jamaica, a strong-willed yet vulnerable heroine, is raising a rambunctious wolf pup and is romantically involved with forest ranger Kerry Reed. Ault blends the traditions and ceremonies from several Pueblo cultures, immersing the reader in Pueblo life and the beauty of northern New Mexico. An enjoyable series debut for fans of Nevada Barr and Tony Hillerman. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Enlightening.... Highly recommended." ---Library Journal Starred Review
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Read! Feb. 11 2007
By J. Grebe - Published on Amazon.com
With Wild Indigo, Sandi Ault has managed to combine a gripping story whose vivid characters fairly leap from the page with a fascinating look at Pueblo culture. And as icing on the cake, at least for dog lovers, she gives us one of the most memorable literary canines I can recall, descriptions of whom are so heartfelt that he must surely be based on a real and much-loved wolf/dog. I await impatiently the next in what I hope will be a long series of Jamaica Wild books.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A voyage into native culture March 14 2007
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
In the wild and majestic beauty of northern New Mexico, Sandi Ault takes you on a journey into Native American Culture delving into the mysteries, spells, potions and idiosyncrasies of the Tiwa tribe of the fictional Tanoah Pueblo, located a few hours north of Taos, New Mexico.

Jamaica Wild is an agent for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. When she happens upon Jerome Santana, a local Tiwa, standing stoically in the midst of a herd of corralled male buffalo, she instinctively knows the situation is potentially deadly. The buffalo, tense and skittish with the human in their presence, are moments away from stampede. As Wild continues to lure Santana away, the herd spooks and Santana is trampled to death.

Thus begins Jamaica Wild's voyage into the depths of Tiwa culture within the Tanoah Pueblo, and her exposure to a life foreign to her own. With the help of Momma Anna, an old Tiwa woman to guide her, Wild is gradually exposed to the customs and closely guarded ceremonies that ancient traditions requires of the tribe after the death of a tribe member.

Throughout it all Wild feels there is something amiss. Though not a trained investigator her gut tells her she must dig deeper to uncover the truth. She is deflected by the members of the pueblo at nearly every turn. The help she does receive is cryptic and beyond her knowledge. When she attempts to clarify it with the few members of the pueblo willing to talk, she is thrown off the trail with threats the Tiwa see clearly, but Wild neither perceives nor understands.

The author has crafted an intricately woven web of deceit and mystery that lead into a culture that very will ever be exposed. Her research is extensive, although the characters are fictional, her knowledge of the culture and the location is vividly expressed in her writing. The characters are genuine, the scenes are set dramatically set and wonderfully crafted.

Armchair Interviews says: If you are looking for a mystery that has car chases, lots of weaponry and hard-nosed detective work, Wild Indigo is not for you. If you want a great piece of literature that also includes a mystery, this is your next book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want my own Momma Anna! Feb. 6 2007
By K. Owen - Published on Amazon.com
Industry reviews and customer reviews appear to all be in agreement: WILD
INDIGO is an exciting, high-paced, beautifully crafted book. But, what I love most about the book goes beyond being an exciting novel.

Ms. Ault clearly has spent so much time researching this book, and clearly has such a love for the Pueblo Indians, that it is contagious to the reader. This book has inspired me to visit an area I previously knew nothing about and to study a people I barely knew existed. I feel as magnetically drawn to this mysterious tribe as the main character, Jamaica Wild, does. I want to have my own "Momma Anna". At the same time, the author really conveys the theme of leaving the People alone and giving them their privacy, leaving me wanting to learn more, but from a respectful distance.

There are hundreds of high-quality, exciting novels on the market today. But, over time, the memory of plot details begin to fade. One thing that cannot fade is an interest and passion, and a desire to research and learn more. This was something that WILD INDIGO provides that most novels do not.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine Tanoah thriller Jan. 5 2007
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agent Jamaica Wild is a liaison between her agency and the Tanoah Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. It is the period of Quiet Time, a sacred holiday where the Pueblo is closed to outsiders. Jamaica is there because she was invited by her mentor Momma Anna Montayo to cook and while there a child says the buffalo are loose from their pen. When she goes to investigate she sees Jerome Santana in the pen going towards the bulls who are ready to charge, a look of rapture on his face.

He is killed but war chief Reuben Rael and Wrangler Sonny are more concerned that she is on the rez during Quiet Time. They escort her off their land but Jamica tells her boss that she thinks Jerome, who never uses, was on drugs. The tribe refuses to allow an autopsy and when Jamaica is on the land again, they complain to her boss, saying she caused the buffalo to stampede. He has no choice but to suspend her. Her investigation takes an odd turn, some of it mystical but it takes a near tragedy for the truth to come out.

What Tony Hillerman and Aimee and David Thurlo do for the Navaho, Sandi Ault does for the Tanoah. Readers get a vividly descriptive look at their culture and belief system, trying to maintain the old ways while living in modern times. The heroine is a loving gutsy woman who keeps a wolf for a pet and refuses to let her suspension keep her down. She is a modern day warrior who takes action when she feels that is the proper cause.

Harriet Klausner
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery of unusual depth and insight Jan. 18 2007
By Chris T. - Published on Amazon.com
Sandi Ault's Wild Indigo is fast-moving and each chapter gives the reader a new perspective on the mystery surrounding Jerome Santana's death. Ault's skillful integration of these perspectives is part of what makes Wild Indigo such a delightful read! As I traveled deeper into her magical and mysterious story, I came to know and care about its characters. If you enjoy a multi-layered mystery that keeps you on your toes and at the same time prompts you to think deeply about the issues and people involved, Wild Indigo is for you! I do have one criticism, however. Even though Wild Indigo is fiction, Ault's masterful weaving of myth and fact created a world so real and compelling that it drew me in from the moment I turned the first page in early evening and would not release me until I had turned the last page at nearly 4:00 A.M!

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