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Queen of the Night    by J. A. Jance order for
Queen of the Night
by J. A. Jance
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Queen of the Night is by J. A. Jance. Need I say more? We all know it will be a good read with a suspenseful plot and well-rounded characters. With a gazillion books to Jance's name, she has more than mastered the art of keeping the reader's attention throughout.

Every summer, the Queen of the Night flower blooms for only one night in the Arizona desert. It blooms briefly and then subsides until the next summer. It is beautiful, fragrant and the reason for pageants throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Unfortunately for one small group of celebrants, gunfire breaks out, after which four adults lie dead. The only survivor is a small child who witnessed the slaughter.

Dan Pardee, an Iraqi war veteran and member of a border patrol unit called the Shadow Wolves, Dr. Lani Walker who suffered childhood trauma of her own, and Pima Country homicide investigator Brian Fellows must keep the child safe while they track down the murderer.

Lest one feel slighted by only one homicide investigation, the reader can get involved in the long unsolved murder of an Arizona State co-ed, as well as follow a retired homicide investigator's wife who has been haunted for years by the memories of the death of a man whose investigation had never satisfied her.

This is a terrific plot. One to keep the reader turning pages. It speaks of the work of Tony Hillerman to whom the book is dedicated. A perfect tribute to an author who is missed by his fans as well as the tribe of which he wrote. Thank you, Ms. Jance, for more hours of enjoyment.

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