The Sporting Club

Sinclair Browning, Author
Sinclair Browning, Author Crimeline $5.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-553-57943-7
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Readers familiar with witty Arizonan Trade Ellis know she's more than ""just an old cowhand from the Rio Grande""--Browning's leading lady is fast becoming a shrewd detective. In the series' second installment (after The Last Song Dogs), Trade meddles in messy family affairs, both on her ranch and with her latest client, Victoria Carpenter. Vicki is a serial romance writer with an obvious flair for embellishing the truth. Trade is therefore skeptical when Vicki presents her with a gruesome scenario she's convinced took place, one that involves her father, his hunting club and the 1963 disappearance of two black children and their father. The going's rough, especially when Trade discovers that many witnesses are either dead or no longer mentally stable. Persistence yields results when she teams up with county attorney (and old flame) Abel Messenger. He provides the legal edge Trade needs to go further with the tips she has, allowing her access to files, forensics labs and the local graveyard for missing persons. Threatening phone calls and KKK-inspired vandalism on her ranch make it apparent that Trade's on to something serious, but she's not about to give up. From the opening line, Browning's writing draws in readers. (Feb.)
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