In Oklahoma, spring brings storms raging across the American prairie, too often spawning tornadoes that lash the land. But this spring Sydney St. John finds herself fighting for her life against another danger, one from the past. When her intern's body is discovered in the archives processing room, everyone wants to believe the girl's death was an accident or a horrible mistake. But Sydney sets out to discover whether the cruel murder of today resulted from another crime committed nearly seventy years earlier, searching for clues as only an archivist can. Her search leads her to another danger, different, in the person of Ben Bartlett, grandson of the creator of the very collection at the center of the mystery. Is he to be her lover? Or her murderer?
Oklahoma Winds (Cozy Mystery)
A Sydney St. John Mystery #1
Sydney St. John is the archivist for records in Gansel, Oklahoma. It’s May of the present day, and tornado season. Everyone is watching the weather for violent storms. Arriving at work one morning she finds her university intern dead. Sydney believes her murder involves the latest material donated to the archives. While the local and state police investigate the homicide, she concentrates on the material, believing the answers lie there.
In 1938, Josiah Bartlett was a filmmaker that travelled to small towns making short films using local children. In Vernon, he wrote a play that involved a young 12-year-old girl being kidnapped, and two young boys rescue her from an old barn. But something goes wrong. The girl, Violet Parsons really disappears. At the same time, a banker is reported kidnapped and ransom of two hundred thousand dollars is asked for his return. The money was paid, but his body was later found. Sydney follows the clues in the archives and films, and a story slowly unravels making her believe that Violet Parsons is still alive, but using another name, and may have been involved in the murder of the banker. But complications arise when Josiah’s grandson, Ben Bartlett comes from California to look through the material. Sydney’s afraid she may be falling for him, and he could be the murderer. Mixed with the danger of a killer loose in Gansel, there are severe storms, as well as tornados that make life difficult in the area.
I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. This was an interesting plot, and I wanted to find out the truth about the missing girl in 1938, but like most cozy mysteries, the story moves slow, even with the storms and attempts on Sydney’s life. The story is clean, and sex is kept in the background. Highly recommended.
Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES