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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Desert Wives: A Lena Jones Mystery

Desert Wives - Betty Webb

When PI Lena Jones rescues a young girl from Purity, a polygamous compound straddling the Arizona-Utah border there’s just one hitch—while making their escape across the desolate desert they run into the recently shot, dead body of Purity’s leader, Prophet Solomon. After the girl’s mother is accused of the murder Lena goes back, hoping to uncover the real killer and clear her client, but this time she goes inside, infiltrating the community by posing as a plural wife.


Being an obedient and subservient second wife isn’t easy for thoroughly modern Lena, but if keeping her eyes downcast and learning to make breakfast biscuits for her “husband” is what it takes to gather information she’s willing to play the game, for now. Though the leaders of Purity want to isolate their people from the evils of the outside world their compound is no paradise. While the Prophet lives in luxury, poverty is rampant among the others in the community. Wives are beaten, underage girls are bargaining chips to be married off to older men, and someone in their midst is a murderer.


Author Betty Web is an Arizona resident and she’s has done her research so besides being a compelling mystery with an appealing main character, Desert Wives is a vivid and fascinating look at fundamentalist Mormon thinking patterns and ways of living.