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The Bone Fire: A Mystery Hardcover – July 6, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
The discovery of a small skull in the embers of the ceremonial blaze opening Fiesta de Santa Fe, in New Mexico, plunges newspaper editor and volunteer EMT Lucy Newroe into a disturbing mystery--and an even deeper funk--in Barber's haunting whodunit, the sequel to her 2008 debut, The Replacement Child. Before authorities can even confirm whether the remains belong to toddler Brianna Rodriguez, who vanished during a family barbecue the previous year, grisly displays start sprouting at shrines across the city. About all that Lucy knows is that the culprit can't be the schizophrenic neighbor quickly taken into custody. The hunt for answers takes the sympathetic journalist, whose escalating drinking can't dull her guilt over a woman killed during her previous case, and her sometime antagonist, Det. Sgt. Gilbert Montoya, through a vividly evoked Santa Fe off the tourist trail and, finally, to the surprising and terrible truth.
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On the eve of the Fiesta de Santa Fe in New Mexico, people gather to watch the burning of a huge puppet called Zozobra. The 300-year-old custom represents a new beginning, as the problems of the past year vanish in the flames. This year the event becomes a crime scene when a child's skull is discovered in the ashes. Detective Sergeant Gilbert Montoya works with Lucy Newroe, a newspaper editor and volunteer EMT, to find the identity of the victim. The case takes them to every level of Santa Fe society, from gangbangers to judges, none of whom are happy when the investigators come calling, attempting to tie the skull to a cold missing-person case. Readers will enjoy the Santa Fe atmosphere and the local lore along with an intriguing plot. --Barbara Bibel
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