Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Shell Woman, James Doss

"White Shell Woman" by James Doss is a good mystery with an American Indian myth and modern day results. White Shell Woman was a moon goddess that the Indians worshiped. She provided rain for their crops. The rain did not come for several seasons and the crops would not grow. The Anasazi Indians performed human sacrifices to make the moon cry. The moon cried fire and the Indians left, but not before they buried a treasure in the Wolf Mesa area. Charlie Moon was bequeathed a cattle ranch, Columbine, with five square miles of pristine grazing land and a lake full of trout. He was no longer a police for SUPD but a rancher. He became an investigator for the Ute tribe along with a badge, gun and enthusiasm for the challenges in front of him. The ranch foreman did most of the work so Charlie had some free time to devote.

Dr. Amanda Silk, an archaeologist, was watching over the Wolf Mesa site for the forest service, to keep pot hunters and treasure hunters away. On one walk, she uncovered an ancient petroglyph which pointed to where the Anasazi treasure was buried. This was great news and brought many professors with a PhD to study the rock carving. At the site of the treasure, the murder of a graduate student found in a grave and burnt, was the start of the myth of the fire tears of the moon. The FBI were called in and there was a search for the perp. Charlie did his own investigating, for the murder was on the Ute reservation.

Charlie Moon was hit on the head and nearly died. He was found in a grave covered with rocks and pine needles, about to be torched. The howling of a dog saved him. Doss has provided a fine mystery with the Indian Myths and a modern day solution. Doss knows American Indian folklore and puts it in a story of mystery with good results, that the reader enjoys.

No comments: