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by Peter Abresch
Intrigue Press, April 2003
323 pages
ISBN: 1890768472

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Denver, Colorado is the site for this year's meeting spot. Jim Dandy and his gal pal, Dodie Swisher, are meeting here to begin this Elderhostel adventure. This year, they are going on the Santa Fe Trail. There were a lot of things going on in Denver when they met. Dodie was commissioned to do some artwork, Bouchercon Convention was happening here and also, Jim Dandy witnessed a lady falling to her death from the roof of the host hotel. This murder did put a damper on the beginning of the trip, especially because Jim is a part time EMT (a semiretired physical therapist) and automatically went to the body. He needed to get involved. Some of the news media thought he may have seen something or perhaps knew a clue that had escaped everyone else.

When the trip begins, we meet all of the characters attending. One of them is Max. He is 93 years old and loves to take brisk walks in the morning; he eventually talks Jim into coming with him. You will meet them all and since I am a very character driven reader, these composite characters do not disappoint.

The woman that has fallen from the building in Denver is still a major theme as they travel. They find out that a notebook may be missing and that this woman was an Indian Shaman or medicine woman. Strange things are happening. When Dodie reveals one of her paintings, something happens that no one can discern. Discussion of releasing the spirit of this Shaman is pondered. I'm not saying another word about it for fear of spoiling your pleasure in reading this story but I will quote Jim Dandy's comment, "I knew this was going to get weird."

I will tell you that there is a bonus of all the information given on the Santa Fe Trail. This was such a positive mention of the Elderhostal program (sans the murder, of course). A personal favorite attraction was the visit to the Loretto Chapel with its amazing staircase. This brought back wonderful memories for me. The descriptions were first-rate.

Ideal for the cozy mystery lover, especially the people who enjoy the Southwestern part of the United States. This is the fourth in this series. The others were Bloody Bonsai, Killing Thyme, and Tip a Canoe.

Reviewed by Rita Ratacheck, March 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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