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Relics: A Faye Longchamp Mystery (Faye Longchamp Series) Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Faye Longchamp Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Evans' second archeological mystery is every bit as good as her debut, Artifacts (2003). Soon after archeologist Faye Longchamp joins a team in rural Alabama researching the "Sujosa," an isolated dark-skinned people with Caucasian features and an unusual resistance to AIDS, she discovers that the man in charge of the project has made a hash of the preliminary dig. Faye determines to prove her own worth by planning the excavation of a more likely site, but she gets sidetracked when an act of arson kills Dr. Carmen Martinez, an oral historian who was gathering old tales and songs to learn about the group's mysterious origins. The apparent suicide of an 18-year-old Sujosa boy deepens the puzzle. Faye makes a compelling heroine, and she's supported by an interesting array of suspects, though her making use of some conclusions she's jumped to about the Sujosa to unmask the murderer may strike some readers as a stretch. Transcripts of Dr. Martinez's interviews scattered throughout the narrative provide important clues for the discerning reader.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Evanss Artifacts (Poisoned Pen, 2003) introduced readers to Faye Longchamp, detective and archaeologist. Here, the woman is sent to a rural Alabama settlement to lead a team assigned to unearth the mysteries of the Sujosa tribe. The group is distinguished by a rare eye color and unusual immunity to diseases, especially AIDS. Not long after Faye arrives, an oral historian assigned to the archaeological dig dies in a fire of suspicious origin. Soon after, an 18-year-old Sujosa boy reportedly commits suicide. Now Faye suspects that there is much more intrigue in the tribes history and that a murderer lurking in the community is responsible for both deaths. Unless she can discover the secrets of the Sujosa, she is sure that she will be the next target. Evans delivers a convincing read with life-size, unique characters, not the least of whom is Fayes Indian sidekick, Joe. The archaeological adventures are somewhat reminiscent of Tony Hillermans Jim Chee mysteries (HarperCollins). While the story is complex, Relics will engage the imagination of readers attracted to unearthing the secrets of lost cultures.–Catherine Gilbride, Farifax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Faye Longchamp Series
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; Reprint edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590589912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590589915
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,707,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of the award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries: ARTIFACTS, RELICS, EFFIGIES, FINDINGS, FLOODGATES, STRANGERS, and PLUNDER. RITUALS will be coming in 2013. My other fiction includes several short stories, available separately as ebooks, and as a collection in both ebook and print form, called JEWEL BOX: SHORT WORKS BY MARY ANNA EVANS. My most recent publications are nonfiction, a departure for me. YOUR NOVEL, DAY BY DAY: A FICTION WRITER'S COMPANION is available for novelists in both ebook and print form. I am also the co-author, with Dr. Faith Wallace, of MATHEMATICAL LITERACY IN THE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL GRADES: A MODERN APPROACH TO SPARKING STUDENT INTEREST, available in print from Pearson.

I'm a a chemical engineer by training and license, with a degree in engineering physics thrown in for spice, but I love reading about history and writing about an archaeologist. Truth be told, I'm a little jealous of Faye and her archaeological adventures.

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, spending time with my family, cooking, and playing my 7-and-a-half-foot-long monster of a grand piano. My cat helps me write, so I should probably put his name on my books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Faye Longchamp, an archaeology graduate student, has been asked to lead her first major excavation. She and her (assistant) friend, Joe Wolf Mantooth, go to a remote Alabama settlement. Her task is to uncover the origins of a mysterious ethnic group of people called the Sujosa. These people have shown immunity to many diseases, including AIDS. The Sujosa have lived in the remote hills for centuries. They are very poor and do not trust "outsiders". Yet Faye is determined to gain their trust and dig up the facts that would trace the Sujosa's heritage.

Faye is hardly settled in when she awakens, late one night, to find the house on fire. Faye manages to save herself and one other housemate, but Carmen, the project's oral historian, dies. Questions abound about how the blaze began and where Carmen's aluminum briefcase had disappeared to. A few days later, a local teenager dies at a cell phone tower. It looks like suicide, but some things just do not add up.

Faye, Joe, and Fire Marshal Adam Strahan must figure out what Carmen had in her oral history notes worth killing for, before someone else dies.

**** This novel is rich in historical details and written in a way that the plot is easily understood. Readers will have no trouble following along as this tale of mystery and intrigue guides them into a web of deceit. Author Mary Anna Evans has found her writing niche in the genre of Mysteries. BRAVA! I want more! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Format: Hardcover
2nd in the Faye Longchamp series, Faye travels to Alabama to an archeological site researching an isolated group of people referred to as the "Sujosa". Interesting to outsiders is the Sujosa's resistance to AIDS, so they are under a microscope that doesn't make them happy. Faye encounters resistance from the site coordinator when she tries to set up a proper dig, not to mention outright hostility from the locals. With Joe's help (hubba hubba!), she manages to get things on track, until the building housing the staff goes up in flames. Faye manages to rescue one co-worker but another dies in the fire. After that a local boy commits suicide, complicating the situation. Joe sets out to track in ways only Joe knows how, and Faye uses her observation skills to help the fire marshall find clues to the arson, as well as using the copies of the work of her dead co-worker, an oral historian, had given her the night she died. There are a lot of story lines in the mystery, but they are all intriguing and none detract from the main interests of the mystery. Another wonderful mystery from a talented writer!
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By A Customer on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Last minute replacement for a pregnant forty-five year old, archaeology graduate student Faye Longchamp leads an excursion into a remote Alabama area to study the Sujosa who have lived in isolation here for centuries and are apparently immune to modern day diseases like AIDS. Faye knows how reticent the Sujosa are with outsiders.

Not long after arriving, the abode where Faye and others stay is an inferno. She escapes, but her oral historian expert Carmen Martinez dies in the fire. Fire Marshal Adam Strahan struggles with how the fire began while Faye wonders how a metallic suitcase that Carmen possessed vanished. Not long afterward, a teenager dies at what appears to be a suicide at a cell phone construction tower, but Adam, Faye, and others ponder whether a clever homicide is covered up to look like self inflicted death occurred. Could Carman have found something that has led to someone murdering to keep secrets hidden?

The sequel to ARTIFACTS, RELICS is a terrific mystery that provides the audience with a wonderful look at Alabama through an archeological lens that glimpses back at the state's history from a modern viewpoint. The story line is exciting from the moment Faye survives the deadly arson until the climax that will surprise the audience. Readers will enjoy this fine regional who-done-it while anticipating more appearances from Faye working in the field.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Mixed feelings about Relics. I'd rate it an average book with good and bad points. As a great fan of Beverly Connor's archeological mysteries, I found Mary Anna Evans' Relics just a little disappointing by comparison. The pace was slow, the plot improbable. Also the main character's chip-on-the-shoulder attitude about her race is a little off putting. I liked it well enough to order a copy of Artifacts, another book by the same author. I'd recommend one of Beverly Connor's novels in the Lindsay Chamberlain series if you are interested in archeology, forensics, or crime solving in the good old-fashioned Sherlock Holmes style.
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Format: Hardcover
This was an enjoyable book on many levels-- archeologically, sociologically, and historically. The characters are interesting, particularly Joe and Miss Dovey, of whom I'd like to have read more. I enjoyed reading the "interviews," but felt they bogged down the story and felt the interaction between the characters suffered for it. The ending was well done with an obvious, but not wall-banging, opening for a subsequent book.
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Format: Paperback
This is the author's second novel featuring insouciant pot-hunter Faye Longchamp. Faye appears to have reformed since we last encountered her. She's back in school, studying to be an archeologist. Once again author Evans gives us a cast of interesting characters involved in various questionable if enthralling activities, even though the readers' sense of disbelief is sorely tested.

Longchamp is tasked to supervise the crew of an archeological-cum-social/historical project in central Alabama. She isn't qualified. She knows it and so does the institute which is running the project, as well as do the academic experts who are on the scene. Never mind, she creates order out of chaos, soon earns the loyalty of several locals who are on the crew and dodges ravening dogs, surly local inhabitants and murderous thieves. All in a days work.

The novel explores archeology, oral history, genealogy and medical diciplines. It seems an ethnically separate group or band of settlers have been living relatively isolated lives in the middle of the state. Doctors on the perimeter of the settlements are discovering that members of the clan are highly resistant to AIDS, among other communicable diseases. The government thereupon, and to the discomfort of the residents, mosty of whom value their privacy, issues grants, orders, research topics and general disruption.

The target group is called the Sujosa and no once seems to know quite where they came from or why. They don't fit in with surrounding populations which has caused various troubles in the past and made the clan more than a little suspicious of government in particular and of strangers in their midst.
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