Fall in Denver: An Em Hansen Mystery

Sarah Andrews, Author Scribner Book Company $20 (288p) ISBN 978-0-684-81523-7
Geologist/amateur detective Em Hansen, a lowly mudlogger in Tensleep, is struggling up the professional ladder in her second appearance. On her first day at Denver's Blackfeet Oil, where she's just been hired as a geologist, a body falls past the 12th-floor office window of CEO Josiah Carberry Menken--who's only momentarily distracted from the saccharine welcome spiel he's flinging at Em. For Em, who's more comfortable on a horse than at a desk, this is a fitting introduction to corporate culture, which continues to baffle her. She wonders why she's been assigned to evaluate the pros and cons of drilling a particular field when colleague Pete Tutaraitis is clearly more qualified; and she wonders what drove Gerald Luftweiller to throw himself through some very thick glass on the 16th floor. Then, after awkwardly trying to alert Em to some danger, a co-worker hurtles to his death from the same building. The author's scientific explanations make geology come to life; Em's first-person narrative gives the prose added punch. With this cliche-free plot and memorable supporting players--notably foul-tongued colleague Maddy McNutt; gnomic detective Ortega; and the wily Mencken--Andrews solidly establishes her series. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/1995
Release date: 12/01/1995
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