The best mysteries of the American Southwest: with respect for the culture and land

Who am I?

The American Southwest never gets old. Exploring any of the Ancestral Pueblo sites is like walking back in time. Anasazi Medium takes the reader there. I love the land and the culture that has brought us to the present. My character, Santa Fe reporter Rachel Blackstone, reflects this. She is sarcastic at times, can be funny, and has her poignant moments as she copes with a “talent” she never wanted. In Anasazi Medium, I concocted a mixture of mystery, Hopi traditions and a journalist’s eye to entertain and inform. What resulted is a climate mystery in the most water-challenged state in the U.S. and a high adventure read. 


I wrote...

Anasazi Medium

By G G Collins,

Book cover of Anasazi Medium

What is my book about?

Ancient peoples enlighten contemporary humankind in a mystery as old as time. Rachel Blackstone, a Santa Fe reporter, is recruited by the spirit world to prevent a cataclysm: the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi. As earthquakes rumble and a supervolcano threatens to blow, it becomes imperative she discovers the root of all evil. Can she stop the greedy men intent on plundering Mother Earth and killing those who would stop them? The survival of an unaware civilization depends on Rachel getting it right. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Blessing Way

G G Collins Why did I love this book?

Who of us hasn’t heard of Tony Hillerman’s experience with an agent’s reply of “get rid of all that Indian stuff?” Advice that Hillerman rightly ignored. He went on to write some of the best, and most successful, mysteries located in the Southwest. Even better, his stories included skinwalkers, ghosts, and witchcraft drawn from Navajo rituals and beliefs. In The Blessing Way (A Leaphorn & Chee Novel) spirituality added richness to his storytelling as he introduces his characters, the Navajo, and their culture. His deep love of the region came through with every word. In my stories, I’ve done the same thing by sharing Hopi traditions with respect and admiration.

By Tony Hillerman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Blessing Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t miss the TV series, Dark Winds, based on the Leaphorn, Chee, & Manuelito novels, now on AMC and AMC+!  

“Brilliant…as fascinating as it is original.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

From New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman, the first novel in his series featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn & Officer Jim Chee who encounter a bizarre case that borders between the supernatural and murder

Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high, lonely place—a corpse with a mouth full of sand—abandoned at a crime scene seemingly devoid of tracks or useful clues.…


Book cover of The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing

G G Collins Why did I love this book?

The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (A Pot Thief Murder Mystery) is a fun, quick read. Our pot dealer (not the kind you smoke) owns a shop in Albuquerque's Old Town. "Hubie" as he is called, digs for pottery on public lands to sell in his shop. I enjoyed his university meetings and the hierarchy at the University of New Mexico. When things got heated among the profs, he dove into a book until the collegiate clashing was over. Fond of margaritas, and who isn't, I got a kick out of how much mystery solving he could do at this favorite bar. My characters share that trait by stopping by The Shed in Santa Fe with regularity.

By J. Michael Orenduff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Mexico pottery dealer cracks a perplexing mystery in this “winning blend of humor and character development” (Publishers Weekly).
 
Hubert Schuze is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he has a fairly lucrative side gig digging up ancient relics and selling them. He also seems to have a talent for finding killers. When Hubie discovers a body outside his pottery shop, it appears the victim was stabbed in the back with something resembling a screwdriver. But the story gets a lot more mysterious when a video turns up showing the man collapsing with…


Book cover of Brujo: Seduced by Evil

G G Collins Why did I love this book?

Jann Arrington Wolcott’s Brujo: Seduced by Evil features Lee Lindsay as the intrepid reporter. The action takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After a co-worker is killed in a suspicious car crash, Lee is sent to complete his assignment. The man she meets in a remote village casts a spell over her. Flashbacks to a former life begin to haunt her as the brujo (male witch) stalks her and her family. As someone who knows Santa Fe well, I liked how Wolcott used Santa Fe locations and local color to enhance the narrative. Lee’s friendship with the artist who knew something about brujos was the best part for me; a true friend who risked it all.

By Jann Arrington Wolcott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brujo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Wolcott, Jann Arrington


Book cover of Parrot Blues: A Neil Hamel Mystery

G G Collins Why did I love this book?

Divorce lawyer Neil Hamel always seems to do more PI work than law. In Parrot Blues (A Neil Hamel Mystery) by Judith Van Gieson, she tries to locate a missing woman—and an indigo parrot. Oddly, the husband seems more concerned about the bird than his wife, who may be on her way out of the marriage anyway. But with the parrot as the only witness, it’s a tough case to crack. There’s plenty of New Mexico history and vistas to satisfy, but I found the information about birds and smuggling to be eye-opening. Her relationship with the “Kid” adds to Neil’s character. She’s her own woman, doing things her way. That alone gained my respect.

By Judith Van Gieson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Parrot Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She may be a divorce lawyer, but Neil Hamel uses her PI's instincts when a millionaire's rare indigo macaw and newly endangered wife are kidnapped together. The unusual search puts her right in the heart of New Mexico's breathtaking Plains of San Agustin, for a dangerous game of bird smuggling and one-upmanship. Armed with high-tech surveillance equipment and a backpack full of her client's money, Neil treks to a remote exchange point. Alas, she returns with the indigo, but no wife, and she's beginning to get ideas. When she learns that one of her chief suspects has suspiciously expired in…


Book cover of Ill Wind

G G Collins Why did I love this book?

Nevada Barr’s mysteries are so colorful I feel like I’m there with Anna Pigeon, solving the mystery and hiking the Anasazi ruins. Barr’s love of the land, wherever her stories take me, creates a real sense of place. In Barr’s Ill Wind, Anna has transferred to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Barr brings authenticity to this series because she had a career as a park ranger. In a new park, Anna is missing her cat and lamenting the party life of her younger co-workers when a colleague is killed. One of the things I like about Anna is that she is so well written. Because of this, I feel I know her.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ill Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lately, visitors to Mesa Verde have been bringing home more than photos--they're also carrying a strange, deadly disease. And once it strikes, park ranger Anna Pigeon must find the very human source of the evil wind.


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The Blighted Mission

By E. Chris Ambrose,

Book cover of The Blighted Mission

E. Chris Ambrose Author Of The Mongol's Coffin

New book alert!

Who am I?

As an art school drop-out who'd been majoring in sculpture, I'm fascinated by material culture—artifacts created by early peoples that reveal their cultural values. Often, the relics and sites that engage both archaeologists and readers suggest unexpected depths of knowledge that show human ingenuity through the ages. I strive to incorporate the details of an artifact or monument's creation into the clues and descriptions in my work, hopefully illuminating a little-known historical realm, if only by torchlight as the adventure unfolds. The fact that I get to explore so many exotic locations, in research if not in person, is a definite plus!

E. Chris' book list on weaving adventure and history

What is my book about?

Disgraced British anthropologist Nigel Rowe hopes his YouTube adventure channel will be just the treat to redeem him, but vengeful treasure hunters have other plans! Seeking a legendary Jesuit mission in Baja, Nigel saves his producer’s life when the man takes a bullet meant for him. 

When an ex-Marine strolls up for a bodyguard interview, and dresses him down for his lax security, she might be precisely what he needs, or the last face he'll ever see. They plunge into the desert in search of fame, fortune and viral footage. Will he survive long enough to work out who's after him or meet a sticky end in the mountains of Mexico? All he can hope is that his new partner's doesn’t pull the trigger herself.

The Blighted Mission

By E. Chris Ambrose,

What is this book about?

A disgraced British anthropologist hopes his YouTube adventure channel will redeem him, but vengeful treasure hunters have other plans.

From the author of the internationally best-selling Bone Guard archaeological adventures!

On the trail of a legendary Jesuit mission in Baja—and the treasure it may contain—Nigel Rowe leaps into action to save the life of his producer when the man takes a bullet meant for Nigel. Alas, the list of those who might wish him dead spans the globe and ranges from American treasure hunters to Russian mobsters to his own dear brother, with their mother's consent if not her explicit…


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