Lena Jones

Created by Betty Webb

This cowgirl has the blues...

While a lot of private eyes offer dole out little about their pasts, workaholic Arizona gumshoe LENA JONES tells us plenty about her childhood. Or at least what she can remember...

At four, she was found abandoned, lying on the side of a highway in the desert, a bullet in the head having taken care of any memories she might have had. Shuttled back and forth through a series of foster homes, you might say she's a little curious about where she originally came from. And that obsession seems to have lead her into becoming a private eye. I mean, what better practice for solving your own mysteries than solving other peoples?

In her first recorded case, the oh-so-appropriatelt titled Desert Noir (2001), Lena and her Pima Indian partner and computer whiz Jimmy Sisiwanquest of Scottsdale's Desert Investigations look into the death of her pal, heiress and art dealer Clarice Kobe, who was beaten to death in the Western Heart Art Gallery. The investigation soon leads them into the sometimes nasty and backstabbing world of the ritzy Scottsdale art world, with detours into domestic violence, land development, politics and nearby Indian reservations.

According to one blurb, "Desert Noir heralds the debut of a detective as wounded as her clients, a woman battling her own demons while trying to rescue others from theirs." Oh, goodie! I always enjoy some good demon-wrasslin'...

Since then, Lena and Jimmy have appeared in several other highly regarded books, and the author's journalism background has stood her in good stead -- the lady knows a hook when she sees it.

For example, her second book, Desert Wives, which deals with the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl by a polygamist who wants to force her into "marriage" with a self-proclaimed "prophet" who already has numerous "wives," was released just shortly before Elizabeth Smart was returned to her family, while 2012's Desert Wind deals with the fallout (literally) of nuclear testing in the fifties encountered by the ill-fated cast and crew of the 1954 John Wayne flick The Conqueror, and the ensuing cover-up that links the present to the past.

Before beginning to write mysteries full time, Betty Webb was a Phoenix book critic and reporter for the Arizona Tribune, and interviewed "everyone from US presidents and Nobel Prize winners to polygamy runaways and the homeless." She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her family and currently writes a column on small press mysteries for Mystery Scene Magazine.

UNDER OATH

  • ''If Betty Webb had gone undercover and written Desert Wives as a piece of investigative journalism, she'd probably be up for a Pulitzer.''

--New York Times on Desert Wives

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

RELATED LINKS

The author's official site.

She wrtes, she blogs!

The Eyes of the Grand Canyon State

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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