Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Nook Review: "TROUBLE AT THE RED PUEBLO," by Liz Adair


By Liz Adair

(A Continuation of her highly acclaimed Spider Latham series.)

Liz Adair is a bankable, award-winning author known for delivering must-turn-the-next-page–novels, and creating endearing, compelling characters. Trouble at the Red Pueblo continues that tradition.

Spider Latham is an old “friend” of Adair’s creation, whose previous adventures are played out in three earlier novels, The Lodger, After Goliath, and Snakewater Affair. After writing several award-winning novels set in other locales, Adair returned to writing books set in her beloved southwest, spinning a new adventure for her desert cowboy, Spider Latham—a Matt Dillon, or a Walter Longmire-type. Spider is honest to a fault, faithful as a Labrador, tough as nails, and ready to put his own neck on the line for what he believes. 

The novel begins with a simple private detective assignment for cowboy/lawman Spider Latham and his sidekick/wife Laurie. But the simple task of unearthing the reason behind lawsuits crippling a small privately-owned Anasazi museum soon escalates into a mystery with a dozen motives and high-powered suspects. When the twists and turns lead to murder, some fingers point too close to home, threatening people the Lathams love, causing a rift between Spider and his only love—Laurie.

In Trouble at the Red Pueblo, Spider believes there is a connection between the arrival of two wealthy, attractive museum visitors and the events threatening to destroy the museum director, his family, and his life’s work. The more Spider digs, the more uncomfortable his findings become, and as sure as his gut instincts are, he is out of his jurisdiction, and somewhat hogtied to help.

But as in every good western, the cavalry is nearby. In this case, that heroic help arrives in the form of some most unlikely international acquaintances—Karam Monsour, a Palestinian professor of American history collecting American idioms, whose auto breakdown lands him in Kanab, Utah during Spider’s investigation. This storyline adds terrific comic relief and makes a great read all by itself, but throw in some cowboy-loving Chinese tourists, a three-legged dog, and some pulse-raising romantic scenes, and it becomes clear that Adair has packed this delicious mystery to appeal to a wide swath of readers.

Trouble at the Red Pueblo is a refreshing pleasure. At 352 pages, it breezes along with clever twists and one-liners that sneak up and grab you in, well, in the the saddle region, while the suspense keeps you flipping pages. Spider Latham and Laurie have chemistry that knots your heart up and gets you invested at page one.  Whether you love modern westerns, stories about loyalty, or a cozy mystery, Trouble at the Red Pueblo delivers a read that satisfies. As soon as you turn the last page, you’ll want to read the others. It’s that good.

Trouble at the Red Pueblo is available in softcover and in a variety of e-reader formats. Visit Liz' Adair's web site to view all her books. You'll find purchase links there for her entire collection of outstanding reads.