Forge, Nov 2003, 24.95, 336 pp.
She raised her two children to adulthood on the Navaho Reservation in New Mexico and is very proud of them both. Her son Clifford is a traditionalist who is a medicine man, a leader for those who don't believe in Anglo medicine. Her daughter is a special investigatior working for the Navaho police, a woman who is considered a modernist who follows the Anglo way.
Instead of relaxing Rose Destea has become a political activist on the reservation, protesting against gambling and the nuclear plant and holding the strip miners accountable for the damage they do to the land. Many of the plants that are used in their herbal medicines and healing ceremonies are becoming difficult, if not impossible to find. Someone is stealing the Plant People and the tribal council asks Rose to investigate what plants are in short supply. A patient who happens to be Rose's best friend needs a plant for a medecine ceremony that is impossible to find and she is willing herself to die. When a friend who joins Rose in her search in hunting the plant is killed, the staunch traditionalist vows to find the plant thief and killer and find the plant that will save her friend.
The Ela Clan mysteries are hard-hitting police procedurals that always seem to concentrate on action more than characterizations. PLANT THEM DEEP is very different but just as good. It is a gentle cosy that concentrates as much on the people as on the action. This stand alone book is an anthropologists delight as it looks very deeply into a culture so that even trained sociologists would enjoy reading this novel. The Thurlos are great storytellers who allowreaders to see just how deep their talent runs.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner