Bisbee aka Wishbone, Arizona
A lonely young artist with a dangerous sideline results in murder
When Lalla and her dad take a trip to Arizona, Dad disappears. Panicked that he's lost in the desert, Lalla enlists the help of a local tracker and finds him unharmed and in the bottom of a mine pit with a very dead local police chief.
Oddly, a young artist from an art colony up the road will be found strangled in her bed.
What're the chances that these two murders are going to be related? Well, if you're Lalla Bains, you don't guess, you start looking for the killer!
Except for some rotting boards over a dark hole, my dad's brand new four-wheel-drive Jeep sat coolly detached and totally unconcerned that its driver was nowhere around.
"It's an abandoned mine pit," Karen Paquette said, sliding off her backpack and pulling out a coiled length of nylon rope. "He probably fell in. Call to him, see if he answers."
With trepidation coloring my voice, I called, "Dad?"
I thought I saw something so I moved closer to the edge.
A stone rolled down the side and someone cursed.
"I think he's down there," I whispered.
She nodded encouragement and I called again. "Can you hear me, Dad?"
I heard a cough, and then his voice, weak and scratchy replied, "Yeah. I'm here."
I leaned over the edge, peering down at him. His dirt smeared and pale face looked up at me. He looked miserable, poor old guy.
"Are you okay? Is anything broken?"
"Don't stand so close to the edge. You're knocking dirt in my face!"
I laughed, relief mixing with my tears. I wasn't supposed to be in Wishbone, Arizona, fearfully scouring the desert for my missing father, I was supposed to be on my honeymoon, married at last to my sweetie, Sheriff Caleb Stone.