The 'annual' Saint Patrick's Day party hosted by Tim and Jamie Malone in their small northern New Mexico community is their first in many years. But it also marks their last as they prepare to move to the Midwest. For Albuquerque attorney Neil Hamel, going to the party is a reunion of sorts with various old friends she spent a year carousing with in a small town in Mexico in the late 1960s. Just about everyone seems to have made some move from hippie to mainstream except Lonnie Darmer, who -- as in the old days -- gets too drunk to drive home. Neil drives them both to Lonnie's little house in Santa Fe and wakes the next morning to discover her missing. Lonnie is found dead in an Anasazi ruin in the mountains near Santa Fe, her body unscathed. The police immediately conclude Lonnie committed suicide, and her friends seem almost relieved to concur -- all except Neil. As she investigates her friend's death, suspects suddenly abound. Even Neil herself comes under suspicion, as the real killer draws ever closer, eager to satisfy a new-found appetite for killing.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 294 g
Dimensions: 230 x 155 x 17 mm
"Judith Van Gieson writes with shrewd authority about New Age New Mexico. . . . Hamel, though no superwoman, is tough, funny, and independent, a solid addition to the sleuth pantheon."
"The Other Side of Death" has much more going for it than setting: crisp characterization, a nice take on sixties values corrupted all to hell, and a superb heroine.
Judith Van Gieson writes with shrewd authority about New Age New Mexico. . . . Hamel, though no superwoman, is tough, funny, and independent, a solid addition to the sleuth pantheon.
"If the mystery genre isn't your cup of tea, you quickly forget because Van Gieson reminds you several times per page about the sensuous nature of where we live and too often take for granted."
With only her third appearance, Neil Hamel quickly establishes herself as a series heroine with her own distinctive style and voice to stand out in the swelling crowd of female sleuths. . . . A tough-minded, sensual woman with self-mocking honesty.