Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2) by Betty Webb

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 2 edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586877

Polygamy can be murder!

That's what private detective Lena Jones learns when she helps thirteen year old Rebecca escape from Purity, a polygamy compound hidden in a desolate area near straddling Utah/Arizona border.

When Rebecca's mother is arrested for the murder of Prophet Solomon Royal, Rebecca's intended husband, Lena enters Purity masquerading as a polygamist wife to uncover the real murderer. In doing so, Lena finds out more than she bargained for--the shocking secret the cult's Circle of Elders will kill to keep.

During her investigations, Lena also discovers more about her own past. At the age of four she was found lying unconscious by the side of an Arizona highway, a bullet robbing her of her memories. Raised in a series of foster homes, Lena does not remember her real name nor the names of her parents. She thinks she has put the past behind her, but the sins of Purity's polygamous mothers and fathers force her to reexamine the few memories she has of her own mother--the woman who shot her...

About the Author


Before writing mysteries full time, Betty Webb worked as a journalist, interviewing everyone from U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize winners, to the homeless and polygamy runaways. Most of her books are based on the stories she covered as a reporter. Today she's a volunteer at the Phoenix Zoo, and is also a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, the Society of Southwestern Authors, and Women Writing the West.

My Review

Just before Christmas Poisoned Pen Press listed ten of their mysteries for 99 cents (ebook editions).  I bought them all.  Desert Wives was one of them.  I am so thrilled to discover this series by Betty Webb. 

Desert Wives is a wonderful expose of life in a polygamist sect. Since this book was written in 2002, polygamist sects have often been in the headlines.  Even here in British Columbia we have a polygamist sect in Bountiful which is allied with the Arizona/Utah polygamists.  They are often in the news as well.  It amazes me that women would live under such conditions thus this book was really fascinating for me.

A great mystery story with wonderful,believable characters filling out this book. I liked this book so much that I've already bought two more Lena Jones mysteries by Betty Webb for my Kindle.

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