MYSTERY

Mesa Verde Victim

Torrey House. (National Park, Bk. 6). Aug. 2020. 220p. ISBN 9781948814232. pap. $15.95. M
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The latest “National Park” mystery, following Arches Enemy, is a compelling story of Mesa Verde, dedicated to the preservation of ancestral Native cliff dwellings and the first national park to honor human creation. In 1891, 16-year-old Joey Cannon was murdered while plundering a concealed chamber in Mesa Verde. Over 100 years later, those who search for treasures in Durango, CO, are still murdered. Archaeologists are also murder suspects, as Chuck Bender learns when his friend and fellow archaeologist, Barney Keller, is found in the alley behind Chuck’s house. Chuck and his brother-in-law, Clarence Ortega, are both questioned. Chuck rushes to Mesa Verde seeking answers when another friend on a dig calls. He hears an unusual story about Gunnel Canyon and Finland, accounts that involve mummies and the Ancestral Puebloan people, along with a strange connection to Egyptian burial rituals. Despite his fascination, Chuck is determined to find Barney’s killer when he loses control of his truck on the return trip home. His stepdaughter, Rosie, was with him in the “accident,” since Chuck and his wife, Janelle, resolve to protect the family and stick together while they search for answers.
VERDICT Suggest for readers who appreciate history mixed with natural wonders in a fast-paced book. Fans of Mary Anna Evans’s archaeological mysteries will enjoy this series.

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