Light on Bone

Woodhall. (Georgia O’Keeffe Mystery). Sept. 2022. 298p. ISBN 9781954907041. $27.95. M
Before dawn in July 1934, Georgia O’Keeffe heads out from her New Mexico casita at Ghost Ranch to look for a horse’s skull she had seen in the desert. Instead, she finds vultures feeding on a man’s body. It takes Sheriff Ryan McCaffrey an hour to arrive from Santa Fe, where he finds a prickly artist who insists she has no aspirations to be an amateur detective. However, she does provide an artist’s viewpoint of the desert and the death scene. While the sheriff questions why a man dressed as a priest has a gun in his luggage, Georgia worries because the victim had a map with her house marked with an X. The death is the first in a string of tragedies that throw Ryan and Georgia together. Both Ryan and Georgia contact authorities when they suspect German spies and espionage in this pre–World War II mystery.
VERDICT The intricately plotted mystery puts a new spin on several historical figures, including O’Keeffe and the Lindberghs, who are guests at the ranch. Lasky (“Calista Jacobs” mysteries) provides vivid descriptions through O’Keeffe’s eyes that bring the setting and timeframe to life.
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