"The Longchamp mysteries combine history and mystery in a gritty way that makes them feel different from most amateur-sleuth fare - dark-edged rather than cozy. Faye, too, is not your traditional amateur sleuth; she could just as easily anchor a gritty thriller series and give some of the giants in that genre a run for their money." óBooklist
In Undercurrents, the eleventh Faye Longchamp Mystery, Faye has traveled to Memphis, a city steeped in music, poverty, history, and the smoky tang of barbecue. She's there working alone to do an assessment of a site, welcome work for her small archaeological consulting firm.
When Faye spies a child too young to be wandering along a creek alone, she follows the girl. A day later she uncovers a dying woman, buried alive near a spot where Kali might well be hiding. Nobody would blame Faye for running hard, but she can't make herself leave Kali, the woman's now orphaned daughter, who might be in danger. She's not welcomed by the people in Kali's struggling community, nor by the police working the crime. Yet she stays, for Kali, and for the bereaved who need her to communicate their fears to a police department that they trust even less than they trust Faye.
When they confide rumors of other women beaten to death by a man so obsessed with burial that he places fresh flowers in their cold hands, Faye begs the police to widen the investigation to seek a serial killer. They refuse. Faye's gut is telling her that a monster is stalking Memphis, endangering the child she has come to love. If the police can't catch him, then she will have no choice but to try to find him herself.
In Evans's appealing 11th mystery featuring compassionate archeologist Faye Longchamp (after 2017's Burials), the state of Tennessee hires Faye's cultural resources firm to examine land intended for a new campground in Sweetgum State Park, on the outskirts of Memphis, for any historically valuable relics that might be found there. On the first day of the dig, Faye hears unusual sounds in the woods, which lead her to a woman who has been badly beaten and hastily buried alive. The unfriendly police detective who arrives on the scene interrogates Faye, who has left her ID in her car. For the first time in her life, Faye, a person of color, starts to worry about "being considered guilty-while-black." Wary of the police and concerned about the victim's young daughter, Faye is drawn into an investigation that points to a serial killer. Evans expertly juggles a host of likely suspects, all the while breathing life into the city of Memphis, from its tourist-filled center to its marginal neighborhoods and the spectacular wilderness of the state park.