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Tainted Mountain
By Shannon Baker. Midnight Ink. 345 pp. $14.99.
Readers of romance-fiction who want their heroines tough, their heroes ruggedly handsome and their geographical settings accurate will enjoy Bakerís tale of a ski lift in northern Arizona that is in serious trouble; too little snow, too much interference from in-laws and too much hostility from the nearby Hopi tribe. []

The NIght Detectives: A David Mapstone Mystery
By Jon Talton. Poisoned Pen Press. 250 pp. $14.95.
Historian-turned-sleuth David Mapstone and his partner, former Maricopa County sheriff Mike Peralta, hit the shimmering Phoenix freeways in an adrenaline-fueled hunt for the killers of a high-priced call girl. Talton, a former Arizona Republic columnist, knows the urban desert terrain and delivers scathing commentary on twenty-first century Phoenix in this tightly plotted thriller delivered in lean, muscular prose. A side-trip to San Diego allows Talton to make some biting comparisons. Fans of this popular series will not be disappointed. []

Time of Change, A
By Aimee Thurlo, David Thurlo. Forge Books. 352 pp. $24.99.
The Thurlo teamís novels, more than 30 published so far, but whoís counting, are set in Navajo country. Over the years the storylines have shifted from what we might call ďstraight mysteriesĒ (e.g., the Sister Agatha series) to mysteries that also qualify as romances. In this latest, a soldier comes home for his murdered fatherís funeral and finds himself working with an old flame who has been his fatherís best employee. When the police seem less than interested in finding the killer, these two try to do what the cops donít care about, and thereís that old attraction too! Slick writing make this a page-turner. []

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