Intrigue Press, April 2003, 24.95, 323 pp.
Elderhostels are trips that senior citizens take when they want to see the country or do things they have never done before. Jim Dandy (a part-time EMT/physical therapist) and Dodee Swisher (an artist with her own gallery) fell in love at their first Elderhostel and have gone on others as a way of being together since they live in different states. Their latest trip is by motorcoach traveling the old Santa Fe Trail but even before they start, a murder occurs.
While Jim waits for her in a hotel hospitality suite, Dodee conducts business. He sees a woman dressed in Indian clothing falling from the roof and is the first one to reach the dead woman. They later find out she was a shaman who supposedly knew the whereabouts of the Mayan Falcon, a gold statue with diamond eyes. Jim and Dodee notice someone is following them and a few a days later someone kidnaps her by someone who thinks Jim has the statue. After a mad chase by Jim and the Elderhostel bus driver, Dodee is rescued but the kidnapper gets away. When their next door neighbor is killed it's obvious that somebody thinks Jim has the statue or knows where it is located. Dodee is determined to solve the mystery so both her and Jim will be safe.
It's great to have Dodee and Jim reunited after such a long time away; the duo are even more down-to-earth and raunchy than ever. The couple is living proof that love and sex don't fly out the window after fifty or does brain matter dissolve. The protagonists are sharp and able to figure things out when younger and supposedly wiser heads fail miserably. PAINTED LADY is a charming mystery that gives the reader a good visual of the Santa Fe Trail.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner