cover image Spurred Ambition: A Pinnacle Peak Mystery

Spurred Ambition: A Pinnacle Peak Mystery

Twist Phelan, . . Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-1-59058-147-6

In Phelan's third legal mystery to feature winningly brassy Hannah Dain (after 2004's Family Claims ), the Arizona attorney has left her job at a boutique law firm to work for a local Indian reservation. Part of the attraction is her new boss, Tony Soto, a passionate activist whose happens to be pretty easy on the eyes. Hannah and Tony's second kiss is interrupted by kidnappers—Hannah escapes, but three men clad in blue vanish with Tony. Was Tony kidnapped because he was involved in a money laundering scheme? In addition to getting to the bottom of the abduction, Hannah has to steer through a thicket of family drama. She's recently learned that, nine months before her own birth, her mother had an affair, and the distant but doting man whom she's always called dad is not, in fact, her biological father. With enough plot for two or three novels, the finished product is dizzying rather than engrossing. But if Phelan can learn to focus, she'll have a hit. (Jan.)