cover image Ice and Stone

Ice and Stone

Marcia Muller. Grand Central, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3316-5

In MWA Grand Master Muller’s well-paced 34th Sharon McCone mystery (after 2018’s The Breakers), the Crimes Against Indigenous Sisters organization hires the San Francisco PI to look into the murders of two Native women over the past three months in California’s Meruk county, as well as many previous disappearances of Native women. Due to conflicting jurisdictions among the reservation police, the county sheriff’s office, and the FBI, any official investigation has faltered. McCone is CAIS’s last hope of finding out what has happened in their community. Posing as a journalist, McCone travels in the dead of winter to Meruk, where she soon discovers that the two deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. McCone, who learned only in middle age she had Shoshone roots, becomes a target for bigotry and abuse as motives for the killings shift into ever-darkening realms. Tough, tenacious, self-reliant, and empathetic, McCone is fiercely loyal to her friends and family. As always, it’s a pleasure to watch her in action. Muller does a fine job dramatizing a serious social issue. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Aug.)