Book Title: Land of Entrapment ~ A K.C. Fontero Mystery
Author: Andi Marquette
Author: Andi Marquette
Author: Andi Marquette
Author: Andi Marquette
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Land of Entrapment
Ex-girlfriend. Her missing sister. Violent white supremacists. Ah, Albuquerque!
Join K.C. Fontero in this, the inaugural volume of the New Mexico series. Winner, 2009 GCLS award for one of three best lesfic mysteries. Also a 2009 Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice award-winner.
K.C. Fontero left New Mexico in the wake of a bitter breakup to take an academic fellowship in Texas. With a doctorate in sociology and expertise in white supremacist groups, she’s well on her way to an academic career. But a plea for help from her ex, Melissa, brings K.C. back to Albuquerque to find Melissa’s troubled younger sister. Megan has disappeared with her white supremacist boyfriend and K.C. knows she has the expertise to track the mysterious group, and she knows she’ll be doing a public service to uncover it. What she doesn’t know is how far into her past she’ll have to go to find both Megan and herself and the deeper she digs into the group, the greater the danger she faces.
Winner, 2009, Golden Crown Literary Society award, best lesfic mysteryWinner, 2009, Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice award, lesfic mystery
Homicide. Homophobia. Hell of a case. Ah, Albuquerque!
The body of a young gay man buried along the Rio Grande leads Albuquerque police detective Chris Gutierrez down a path of dark secrets and old hatreds. In spite of the other detective assigned to the case — the sexist and possibly homophobic Dale Harper — Chris tracks the killer to an older unsolved case, and to the doors of a local megachurch and a popular minister with ties to ex-gay groups. Enlisting the research skills and networks of sociologist and best friend K.C. Fontero, Chris works to build the case and make an arrest before the killer strikes again, even as she must also face her growing feelings for attorney Dayna Carson. Struggling with the complexity of a difficult case, Chris is drawn into an ominous and potentially deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a man who might kill to protect his own secrets.
Dead man. Dark Spirits. Deep Trouble. Ah, New Mexico!
When the Albuquerque paper reports that an unidentified white man was found dead along a remote stretch of road on the Navajo Reservation in northwestern New Mexico, UNM sociology professor K.C. Fontero thinks she might be able to use the case as an example of culture and jurisdiction in one of her classes. But it’s soon apparent that this dead man might have something to do with a mysterious letter that River Crandall, brother of K.C.’s partner Sage, recently received from the siblings’ estranged father, Bill. What does the letter and Bill’s link to a natural gas drilling company have to do with the dead man? And why would Bill try to contact his son and daughter now, after a decade of silence?
From the streets of Albuquerque to the vast expanse of the Navajo Reservation, K.C. and Sage try to unravel the secrets of a dead ma while Sage confronts a past she thought she’d left behind. But someone or something wants to keep those secrets buried, and as K.C. soon discovers, sometimes beliefs of one culture jump the boundaries of another, threatening to drive a wedge into the relationship she’s building with Sage.
Voted one of five fave lesfic mysteries of 2010 by the Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice Awards.
Day of the Dead
Murdered man. Missing woman. Malicious intent. Ah, New Mexico!
When a man is shot to death in his house near Albuquerque’s Old Town, homicide detective Chris Gutierrez is called to the scene with fellow detective Dale Harper to investigate. They soon discover that the murder victim may have been involved in human trafficking over the Mexican border, and that he may have attracted enemies in an underground network with its own code of honor. Did someone in that network kill him? Or did his past finally catch up with him? As Chris works to find answers, she also draws the attention of a local anti-immigrant blogger who will go to any length to post damaging and personal information about Albuquerque law enforcement officers, and she knows that her partner, prosecutor Dayna Carson, will be part of that campaign if the blogger discovers their relationship. She has to find a way to watch her back and keep Dayna and her friends and family safe from the blogger’s large audience and prying eyes, even as he dogs her every move.
From Albuquerque to El Paso, Chris is on the trail of a killer who seems to be able to disappear into the cultures on either side of the border, like a ghost or desert wind. Those along the border protect their own, Chris knows, but she has a job to do, even as she draws closer and realizes that sometimes, things aren’t what they seem.
Land of Entrapment
“I’ll pay you.”
I stared at her as if she had just offered to pay me for sex.
“No,” she said, realizing how it must have sounded. “I mean as a researcher. I know you’ve done that in the past. I’ll pay your going rate for research.”
I continued to stare at her. She might as well have just slapped me.
“Plus room and board? Please. It would mean a lot to me. You could use it for your next book. You’re doing research this fall semester, anyway.”
My stomach lurched. “How did you know that?”
She looked away.
“How did you know that?” I said again. She had been tracking me and it bothered me. Why didn’t she just call? Because she knows it’d be harder to say no to her in person. I clenched my teeth, feeling used.
She stood, slightly flustered. “I checked. I needed to know where I could find you.”
“It’s not on my website,” I said, testing her.
“I called the department.”
I stood as well and stared out at the fields. By the sun, it must have been almost three o’clock. Somewhere in the heat and haze I heard a tractor. And somewhere further away than that I heard the engine of Melissa’s Toyota Camry as she drove out of my life and into someone else’s sunset. Don’t burn your bridges, I heard someone saying. ’Cause you might have to cross the river again.
State of Denial
CHRIS SQUATTED BY the shallow grave. A cold late January breeze ruffled her hair as she studied the body within. He lay face-down, hands tied behind his back with what looked like electrical cord. The odor of human decomposition wafted under the edge of the bandanna she held against her mouth and nose and she automatically stopped breathing through her nose.
A crime scene tech ducked under the yellow tape that surrounded the perimeter of the clearing, fastened to trees. He carried a clipboard and a plastic tackle box. If only this was a fishing trip, Chris thought as he set his box down near the perimeter and started writing on the form attached to his clipboard.
Dale Harper hunched across from her, pressing a handkerchief to his face. Two crime scene techs were engaged a few feet away, carefully screening the dirt that a third tech was gingerly removing from around the body with a small trowel and emptying into a stainless steel pail.
“Nasty,” Harper intoned. Chris’s fellow detective spoke with the accent of the upper Midwest, a blend that sounded like Chicago-meets-Canada. He rubbed the fingers of his left hand on his knee, as if the fabric of his trousers was some sort of cleansing agent.
Murder always is. Chris didn’t vocalize the thought, waiting for him to make an inappropriate comment about the naked man in the grave. He seemed to have a penchant for doing that and it grated on her nerves. Gallows humor was one thing. Harper’s comments were another.
He shifted his weight forward to get a better look, careful not to dislodge soil from the grave’s edge. “I’m guessing sexual assault,” he began, holding the handkerchief over his nose. “Probably a gay thing. No normal guy would end up like this.”
The Ties that Bind
“Body found on Navajo Reservation near Shiprock.”
THE HEADLINE CAUGHT my eye as I skimmed through the local news round-up in the Albuquerque Journal waiting for the coffee to brew. I read the brief paragraph, shifting into research mode. An unidentified white male, possibly mid-late fifties, found dead about ten miles outside the reservation town of Shiprock. Authorities speculated that he’d been dead for a few days and that he’d been hit by a car. He was wearing blue jeans and a red flannel shirt and he carried no identification. Anyone with any information was encouraged to contact Navajo Tribal Police or the Farmington Police Department.
White guy. I puzzled over that for a bit as I leaned on the counter, coffeemaker gurgling next to me. Not to suggest that white guys weren’t allowed on the Navajo Reservation. It just struck me as odd that this guy was out there. Even that close to Farmington, the Navajo Reservation had few roads, fewer people, and a lot of lonely space. What was a white guy doing walking around on the Rez in such a state that he was hit by a car and left to die?
I wondered who he was and the logical part of my brain clicked through a myriad of possibilities. Most likely he got himself into a bit of trouble with local rednecks who roughed him up a bit, drove him to the Rez, took his wallet, and rolled him out of a battered pickup along with several cans of beer. Maybe he was drunk and might have tried to get help but instead got the front end of either that truck or a different one. Regardless, whoever hit him kept going.
Nice. What pleasant pre-breakfast thoughts. I placed the newspaper on the kitchen counter, making a mental note to check for more information on this case.
Day of the Dead
“Hey,” Detective Dale Harper said in his flat Midwestern accent. “Glad you could join us.”
“Yeah, well, not like people sleep at this hour on a Sunday or anything.”
The cop next to him snorted.
“What’ve we got?” she asked.
Harper looked at his pocket notebook, mostly out of habit. He had probably already memorized what the cop had told him. “Our DB is a Hispanic male, late twenties, early thirties. Gunshot wounds to the head, chest, and groin.”
“Anybody hear anything?”
“A Mrs. Marquez, next door.” Harper gestured at a nearby house with his chin.
The porch light was on.
“Is she outside?”
“Not anymore. But she did say she heard something after twelve-thirty. Doesn’t speak much English.”
That was almost an hour ago. Chris put her hands in her jacket pockets to warm them up. “Who talked to her?”
She nodded, satisfied. Lauren’s Spanish was good. “Okay.” She looked at the uniformed cop. “Could you find Lauren and tell her I want to talk to her?”
When she’s not writing novels, novellas, and stories or co-editing anthologies, she serves as both an editor for Luna Station Quarterly, an ezine that features speculative fiction written by women and as co-admin of the popular blogsite Women and Words. When she’s not doing that, well, hopefully she’s managing to get a bit of sleep.