Desert Shadows Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Desert Shadows

Poisoned Pen, July 2004, 24.95, 288 pp.
ISBN 15905811370

At the Southwest Book Publisher's Expose, Gloriana Alden-Taylor eats salad when the owner-publisher of Patriot's Blood Press starts to feel chest pains. She keels over, foams at the mouth and shortly dies. An autopsy reveals she was poisoned with hemlock sprinkled on her salad; the police arrest Gloriana's employee, Pima Indian Owen Sisiwan for the crime. Earlier that day, group of conference attendees led by Sisiwan went on a field trip where the poisonous plant grew.
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Former police officer Lena Jones opened up her own agency after she was wounded on the job and her employee Johnny is Owen's cousin. She knows Owen could never kill a seventy-something year old woman even if she was a racist who treated Owen like a second-class citizen. Her publishing house published books that would appeal to the Aryan nation and they made a lot of money that she used to fix up the house she loved. Lena is determined to find out which of the many people who had a motive to kill Gloriana did the deed.

The protagonist is a person who keeps people at a distance because of the abuses she suffered in foster care, but in spite of the traumas she experienced, Lena is a determined woman who will go the extra mile to see that justice is served. The villainess of DESSERT SHADOW has so many enemies including her employees, her own family and the authors she could not care less about; it is impossible to figure out who the perpetrator is.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Desert Shadows

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Betty Webb Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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