A Mystery

      “Ray Hava, the best kachina doll carver in the country, has been murdered, his dead body found in his bed. The ZIA, the police force within the San Jaime Indian Pueblo, called Dominque Rios of the Jerez Police Department, whose jurisdiction was outside of the Pueblo, in for assistance. Ray Hava was a perfectly healthy man with no apparent enemies. His house smelled strange as the police entered to make their initial investigation. Doc Tapia was called in to perform the autopsy, and Rios notices that Doc has a suspicious large burn on the back of his hand. Hava’s wife Evelyn invites the police in and hints at the possibility of robbers killing her husband for money that he made from his kachina dolls. As Rios conducts his investigation, he and his staff are subjected to danger from all sides, and it seems that no one in the Pueblo can be trusted.
            “Teresa VanEtten Pijoan’s first mystery novel presents the reader with a convoluted plot that is interesting enough to keep the pages turning. Her writing style is simplistic and poignant. In fact, the reader has to stay on top of things to understand the hints and allusions that she weaves into her story, as well as her inherent understanding of the relationships between human beings: ‘If you are too eager to please and get along with the person you are living with, you have put yourself too close to that line. You yourself have made yourself vulnerable. Your vulnerability has jeopardized your comfort. Anything the other person does will push you closer to that line. Your façade is in jeopardy, the tenseness is what kills your relationship. Not you or your woman can live up to that façade.’
            “VanEtten Pijoan has a rich Indian history, having grown up in the San Juan Pueblo in New Mexico and having worked in her family’s trading post. She is a wonderful spokesperson for a mysterious and fascinating lifestyle that most people do not encounter in their lifetime. The beauty of the Southwest is evident in her, at times, startlingly rich descriptions of the countryside and skies of New Mexico. VanEtten Pijoan seems to be at the beginning of her mystery writing career. But her talent for spinning a yarn is already evident. As VanEtten Pijoan’s writing matures and deepens, she will no doubt be regarded as a top notch mystery writer. Her feel for the plot is natural.”
      —The Midwest Book Review