Desert Run: A Lena Jones Mystery

Betty Webb, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (346p) ISBN 978-1-59058-234-3

At the start of Webb's fast-paced fourth Lena Jones mystery (after 2004's Desert Shadows ), the scrappy workaholic PI is supervising security for filmmaker Warren Quinn, who's shooting a documentary about the escape of German POWs from a prison camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1944. When someone murders the leader of the escapees, arrogant, disagreeable Erik Ernst, now 91 and retired in Scottsdale, suspicion falls on the former U-boat commander's Ethiopian immigrant care-giver, Rada Tesema. Believing Tesema to be innocent, Lena agrees to investigate. Meanwhile, Lena's personal life is in disarray. Raised in foster homes and wary of close relationships, she's drawn to Quinn but is suspicious of his motives. Her partner in Desert Investigations, Jimmy Sisiwan, is getting married and taking a job with Lena's biggest customer, while Lena's mentor in the Scottsdale police department is returning to Brooklyn. Webb combines evocative descriptions of place with fine historical research in a plot packed with twists. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/23/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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