When Clarice Kobe is found savagely beaten to death in her Scottsdale,
Arizona, art gallery, her abusive ex-husband, Jay, is the prime suspect. But
as much as everybody hated the guy, private investigator Lena Jones thinks
there's more to the murder of her friend and neighbor. Knowing Clarice had a
darker side, Lena follows her suspicions down a trail littered with vengeful
artists, lost souls and perverse characters to a deadly showdown.
This case is oddly linked to the question that has haunted Lena's own life:
her identity. Shot in the head at age four and left for dead, Lena finds
that her search for Clarice's killer leads her further into a depraved world
where love and hate are interchangeable, a place Lena knows all too well.
And as she closes in on a killer, she will be forced to make final choice
between acceptance and fear, between life and death, between leaving this
world . . . or embracing it.
Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murders
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
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...
Desert Shadows: Publishing Can Be Murders
After Scottsdale publisher Gloriana Allerton is
poisoned at the annual Southwestern Publishers' Convention and a Pima Indian
friend is accused of the murder, Lena Jones begins to investigate the seldom
talked about side of the business--racist publishing. To her horror, Lena
finds herself rubbing elbows with extremist politicians and members of local
Though she becomes a target for murder because of her investigations, an
attempt against Lena Jones' life pales in comparison to what happens when
she is granted a meeting with the Aryan Brotherhood leader at the Arizona
State Prison complex. On her way to the Death Row visiting room, a Black
trustee nicknamed "Green," because of his startling green eyes, looks into
And calls her by her mother's name.
Found shot in the head at the age of four, her memory gone, the green-eyed
Lena Jones had been raised in a series of abusive foster homes which left
her emotionally--and physically--scarred. For years, Lena had searched for
her biological parents with the same intensity with which she searched for
killers. But now, with a possible answer to her identity right in front of
her, Lena begins to realize that the truth may come at a very high price...
Her own life.
Things are never easy for Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones. Her partner in
Desert Investigations, Jimmy Siswan, is leaving for an upscale wife and a
job at Sun Microsystems. Her old Captain at the Scottsdale PD is off home to
Brooklyn. She's doing security for Warren Quinn, director of a documentary
being shot at Papago Park about the German POW camp and the "great escape"
of Christmas Eve, 1944, when some prisoners tunneled out and fled. And one
surviving escapee, Kapitan zur Zee Erik Ernst, a man in his nineties
confined to a wheelchair after a boating accident, has just been murdered.
Worse, his Ethiopian care giver begs Lena to clear him.
Lena, experienced in probing the past for answers to the central mystery of
her own life--who is she?--learns that Ernst and two other POWs hid out in
the rugged Superstitions. Nearby, on Christmas night, a whole farm family,
the Bollingers, was slaughtered. A jury didn't convict the only survivor,
the teenage son. What might Chess Bollinger know about Ernst--and vice
versa? And how much can Lena trust Quinn, either as a client, a witness, or
A complex, stunning case based on real Arizona history, journalist Betty
Webb, author of Desert Noir, Desert Wives, and Desert Run, spins an
evocative, haunting story.
While scouting locations for a film documentary on the
Arizona's Apache Wars, private investigator Lena Jones and Oscar-winning
director Warren Quinn, discover the mutilated body of a young girl. The
gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena’s own rough
childhood. Clashing with the local law, Lena's investigation uncovers a
small town with a big secret. Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears.
Founded by the descendants of pioneers who fought Geronimo, the townspeople
have now armed themselves against the hordes of illegal immigrants streaming
across the Arizona/Mexico border. A significant population of documented
foreign-born residents also lives and works in Los Perdedos at a modern
plant. Lena senses a sinister force at work in the town—but where? Then two
more girls disappear from Los Perdidos, and as the death toll mounts, Lena
is tempted to implement some frontier justice of her own. When she finally
unmasks the killer, she discovers a chain of horrific crimes responsible for
subjugating millions of girls and women around the globe. In Desert Cut, the
still vivid memory of Geronimo's war mixes with the modern immigration war,
the hard life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with Hollywood's slick
production meetings, and the cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a
growing underground railroad fighting to save its young victims.
(December 1, 2009)
While running surveillance in an industrial section of
Scottsdale, P.I. Lena Jones discovers the body of a woman connected to
Second Zion, an infamous polygamy cult based in northern Arizona. Lena joins
forces with Rosella, a former polygamist sister wife, to find the victim's
killer, and soon discovers a shocking secret: in a society where one man can
have ten wives, nine men will have none. Second Zion makes certain these
possible rivals don't stick around.
(2004) by Betty
Webb, Jonathan Harrington, Nancy Baker Jacobs, and Terence Faherty
See Desert Deceit by Betty Webb
To escape and unwind, Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones joins a dude ranch
cattle drive through Arizona's most rugged and remote area. But the brutal
murder of a media magnate turns the 120-mile trip into a trail full of
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