ONE for the MONEY,TWO for the SLUICE: A Fr. Jake Mystery
By Albert Noyer
In a sequel to The Ghosts of Glorieta, Fr. “Jake” Jakubowski, a 70-year-old Michigan priest, is again embroiled in criminal activity at the fictional New Mexico village of Providencia. The discovery of a fetus in an irrigation sluice prompts Detective Sonia Mora to reopen a cold case involving the “accidental” death of a rancher’s wife. His daughter, Dulci, struggles to escape the suffocating effects of her father’s Prolonged Grief Disorder and a Mexican folk healer’s treatments. A fundamentalist church’s picketing of a soldier’s funeral twice turns deadly for the priest; a brash anthropologist purports to have found remains of an Apache scout in a Civil War fort’s cemetery; and a thwarted helicopter escape plan results in the establishment of a horse sanctuary that helps Dulci recover. Several village residents from Ghosts reappear amid a background of contemporary New Mexican secular and religious customs and locations.
"There is much to enjoy in this compelling mystery novel: Noyer's New Mexico setting is rich in descriptions, with a central theme of an irrigation sluice (acequia) — the life blood of rural residents' livelihoods — which is skillfully intertwined with bodies, superstitions and drama. A well drawn plot represents fictional Providencia's laborers, ranch hands, servants and townspeople, with the "haves" miserable in their luxurious setting, while the "have nots," including transplanted Michigan priest, Fr. Jake, are sustained by their work, religion and customs. A fetus discovered in the sluice prompts the reopening of a cold case and engages an ongoing mystery until the very end."
"After reading the Prologue of the second Fr. Jake Mystery, I knew something sinister would happen: under a blue September sky, an Arabian stallion being loaded into a trailer abruptly rears up and kicks out its hind legs; both horse and the female equestrian owner die. This accident sets the direction of the novel, which will engulf Father Jake thirteen years later. The author uses his skills to paint you into the New Mexico landscape, making readers one with the 70-year-old priest's parishioners in experiencing danger, local history, archaeological digs, folklore customs, contemporary Catholicism, and final resolution. Excellent!"
About Albert Noyer
Albert Noyer first published an A.D. fifth century historical mystery series, the Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries. Yet-unpublished is a retelling of Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, from the viewpoint of a Celtic youth caught up in the Romanization of the country. He set these novels in the fifth century, an era that is now seen as critical in creating religious and political institutions that survived into modern times. The Ghosts of Glorieta, published by Plain View Press in 2011, was his initial contemporary mystery novel and the first novel in the Fr. Jake Mystery series. Also an aritist, his artwork is featured on his covers. He is a member of SouthWest Writers, Sisters in Crime, Croak & Dagger, the New Mexico Watercolor Society and New Mexico Veteran's Art.
292 pages, $18.95
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