When three women die of “natural causes” in London and the West Country, there appears to be no connection—or reason to suspect foul play. But Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury has other ideas, and before long he’s following his keen police instincts all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
There, in the company of a brooding thirteen-year-old girl and her pet coyote, he mingles with an odd assortment of characters and tangles with a twisted plot that stretches from England to the American Southwest. And while his good friend Melrose Plant pursues inquires in London, Jury delves deeper into the more baffling elements of the case, discovering firsthand what the guide books don’t tell you; that the Land of Enchantment is also a landscape ripe with tragedy, treachery, and murder.
Set only a few weeks after the end of The Horse You Came In On, the newest case for Scotland Yard Chief Superintendent Richard Jury wings him back to the U.S. Jury is initially inclined to dismiss the similarities among three sudden deaths: those of two British women, one in Exeter Cathedral and the other in the Tate Gallery, and that of Angela Hope, a Santa Fe silversmith visiting Salisbury's Old Sarum. But he revises his opinion when he learns that all three women had recently been in New Mexico at the same time. Abandoning the hypochondriacal Sgt. Wiggins to the delicious pleasures of a hospital stay, Jury heads to the States, delegating to his civilian sleuthing partner, Melrose Plant, the task of tracking down Lady Jenny Kennington-who has vanished just when the local Stratford-on-Avon police have reasons to find her. In Santa Fe, clues are thin, although Mary Dark Hope, the American victim's 13-year-old sister-whose best friend is a nearly tame coyote-is convinced that her sister was murdered. Shrewdness (and a smidgen of serendipity) finally nudge Jury toward real insight-and the realization that another life is in danger. Once again, Grimes hooks her readers with the engaging Jury and friends, and with skillful tucking of hints into unexpected corners. 75,000 first printing; Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate.