Berkley, Dec 2007, $23.95
In Stanton’s Mill, California many of the New Age residents believe in the prophecies foretold by the Indigo child, fifteen years old Tamina Kerry. Whenever Tamina spoke in her Oracle like metaphors, people heeded what she said. So everyone waited breathlessly for she has told them she has something significant to say.
However, before she can relay her message, Tamina falls off a nearby cliff to her death. In her last moment she mentions a missing Indigo child. Still no one thinks about it as the Indigo are strange and others like her have died young or vanished abruptly to never be seen again. Encouraged by her boss sly blonde bombshell Sheriff Cherie Ghent, part-time deputy sheriff Carla Day investigates whether Tamina’s death was an accident, a suicide or a murder. She uses her skills honed from obtaining information from her Alzheimer’s suffering father to inquire of the eccentrics who live there. When a man is found dead with his throat cut, Carla believes there is a link to the Tamina death and fears more will follow.
The key to this entertaining whodunit is the fullness of the prime characters especially the heroine, who works the case amidst an eccentric crowd that orates in riddles when asked a straight question. Her caring for her father, a professor losing his memory except when it comes to Egyptology, enables her to work through the odd responses she receives. Cherie is terrific as her boss as she plays the police version of Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde but more as a ploy to fool the rubes into giving her whatever she needs. Fans will appreciate Diana O'Hehir's enjoyable third mystery as no clues are straightforward. They require New Age translation into police English (see ERASED FROM MEMORY and MURDER NEVER FORGETS).