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Brilliant new heroine Maddie Vaughn-Alwin makes her daring debut, discovering that speakeasies conceal more than just liquor.
Madeline Vaughn-Alwin’s picture-perfect life fades to gray when her childhood sweetheart perishes in the Great War. The aspiring painter leaves her wealthy New York family behind to travel across the country and start over in California. But when Maddie reaches Santa Fe, New Mexico, she halts her westward journey, certain she’s found her new home amid the striking scenery and inspiring artistic community.
To help out around her new adobe cottage, Maddie hires the Anayas, a local Native American family. But when the father is found murdered outside a speakeasy, the police brush off the death as just another inebriated man finding trouble. Shocked and distraught, Maddie takes on the case herself. But as she investigates, she learns that the Anayas’ home life was not what it seemed. And just as she’s starting to see the bigger picture, the autopsy reveals that her suspects’ alibis don’t hold up in Santa Fe Mourning, Amanda Allen’s richly evocative first Santa Fe Revival mystery, perfect for fans of Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen.
Set in 1922, this auspicious series launch from the pseudonymous Allen (the Kate Haywood series, as Amanda Carmack) introduces Madeline "Maddie" Vaughn-Alwin, an artist and war widow who has turned her back on her wealthy New York family for the beauty and freedom of Santa Fe, N.Mex. Soon after settling in, Maddie hires Juanita and Tomas Anaya, a married couple, to help around her new house. When Tomas's bloody body is found in an alley behind La Fonda, the city's foremost hotel, the police arrest the Anayas' rebellious 14-year-old son, Eddie, for his father's murder. Convinced of Eddie's innocence, Maddie turns amateur sleuth to prove it. Maddie's detecting takes her all over town, from poor neighborhoods to posh nightclubs and even the largely forgotten underground tunnels linking plaza stores. Along the way, she meets such real-life locals as Olive Rush, a patron of Native American artists, and railroad magnate Frank Springer. Readers will want to see more of the appealing Maddie, whose next adventure is hinted at in the epilogue.