A book recommended by Ted Feit –
With a bow [by dedicating the book] to the late Tony Hillerman, who
was a master at the genre of this novel (and the predecessors in the
saga of the Walker family), J.A. Jance has written a murder mystery
surrounded by the further development in the family’s history peppered
with lots of Indian lore.
The eponymous Queen is a once-a-year blossoming cactus whose legendary
beginnings, like many of the tales in the novel, are based on the
culture and history of the Tohono O’odhap people of southern Arizona.
It plays a minor, but important, role in the story as the site of the
contemporary murder of four people. Meanwhile, former homicide
detective Brandon Walker inherits a 50-year-old open case from his
Last Chance cold case mentor, one in which a popular coed was stabbed
to death in San Diego while on a school break.
The broad sweep of the Walker saga provides interesting and deep
personal observations about the characters and what motivates them.
The plot lines in the novel are fairly complex, but move forward in a
logical pattern. As usual, the writing is uncomplicated with
beautiful descriptions of the Arizona terrain, and especially of the
night-blooming cereus (the Queen of the Night), particularly