Man Corn Murders
Five Star, May 2009, $25.95
Ohio residents, reporter Terry Hart and her Aunt Judith are exploring the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah by RV. They travel a dangerous Mormon road, but driver Terry panics that they were in the middle of nowhere and turns around to the chagrin of her feisty aunt. To mollify her aunt she takes a side road only to find the mummified body of college student Melanie Briggs, who vanished from a nearby university dig led by Professor Nick Bradshaw. The Sheriff determines it is a tragic accident caused by a vehicle break down and the wind, but the two Ohioans have doubts.
Aunt Judith tries to visit her friend Deborah Winters from her college teaching days who moved to a senior citizen home in Utah, but is told she moved to Seattle. This disturbs Judith as Deborah would have said something. As Terry feels attracted to Nick and aviator Chris Robbins, who took them on an aerial tour, she and Judith investigate the death of the student, what happened to the aunt’s colleague, and some suspicious graves.
Leaving Canada (Belle Palmer Northern Ontario mysteries - NORTHERN WINTERS ARE MURDER and British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Holly Martin - AND ON THE SURFACE DIE), Lou Allin shows geography is no problem with this fine Utah amateur sleuth. In may ways the vivid description of the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument steals the show from the solid cast and the investigations. Still the inquiry is fun with a few engaging twists and romance in the air, but it is Utah that owns this enjoyable whodunit.