In a small arts community in mid-century New Mexico, a wealthy patron is accused of murder.
In a small, artsy New Mexico town, the arrival of a wealthy stranger from back East is enough to get folks talking. Even a few years after Mona Brandon landed in Santa Maria, the rumor mill still churns with tid-bits about her money, her influence, and — when a corpse is discovered in the nearby desert that may or may not be her husband — her secret and suspicious past.
From the counter at her local jewelry and art shop, Jean Holly has a front row seat for all this gossip and more, after her acquaintance with Pat Abbott, the detective investigating the apparent murder, turns romantic. With his deductive reasoning and her local knowledge combined, they have everything they need to discover whodunnit. But will they be able to put the pieces together and solve the mystery before the killer strikes again?
With characters and a setting inspired by Mabel Dodge Luhan and the Taos art colony, Frances Crane's The Turquoise Shop is a delightful Golden Age mystery adorned with Southwestern historical detail. It is the first novel in the popular and long-running Pat and Jean Abbott series, which charmed mid-century audiences with over twenty-five installments and which was adapted for multiple radio programs in the 40s and 50s.