Poisoned Pen Press Lena Jones Mystery Series
From page one of Betty Webb’s involving mystery, nothing is ever what it seems. The book pushed all my “I like to read” buttons with strong female characters, an injured Yorkie, and teens in trouble. How can you ignore the opening line of the Prologue: “The first thing Ali saw when she came through the door was the blood. The next things she saw were the? bodies. ‘Why’d you kill my dog?’ she asked Kyle.” Why indeed.
Webb’s desert series set in Arizona is ripe with delightful inconsistencies that knit and purl and weave a composite picture of people with more secrets than reliability, more lies than honesty, and more immorality than fidelity. All of these mores make for an absorbing story that surprised me with one of my favorite human assets—integrity, a much sought after commodity these days—making a valuable appearance. Webb spends pages explaining the bizarre and horrendous relationship of Ali and Kyle, but less would have been more. At times, it slowed the story perceptively. That said, this book reveals effectively many of today’s societal problems, including political graft, illegal drug use, alcoholism, children left to raise themselves, isolation, and love gone wrong, that need to be talked about and improved. This is a good introduction to that discussion.