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Desert Run by Betty Webb
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In this Lena Jones PI series, Lena is involved in trying to figure out who killed a despised, brutal German man who was part of a documentary on a German POW camp in Arizona where a number of the POWs escaped in 1944. While they were at large, a family in the area was murdered except for the son who wasn't home at the time. Although suspected, the Germans and the son were found to be innocent. Back in the present day, Lena has her hands full trying to uncover what really happened in 1944 and how it reveals who the killer is today.

Although the story was uneven, a bit complicated, and there was too much explaining at the end, I still enjoy following Lena Jones on her investigations. She's feisty and smart but has a lot of difficulty when it comes to getting close to someone. It was also interesting that the story was based on a real POW camp in Arizona where some prisoners had escaped but didn't harm anyone. ( )
  gaylebutz | Aug 10, 2015 |
I guess I just really like books where the mystery has roots in the past; this one has its genesis in World War II and the POW camps in the US. So far it's my favorite of Betty Webb's books, but I still need to read [b:Desert Cut|2345916|Desert Cut A Lena Jones Mystery (Lena Jones)|Betty Webb|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51S3MC8VxML._SL75_.jpg|2352626]. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
On Christmas Eve 1944 German prisoners of war, who were being held at a camp outsidePhoenix AZ, escaped through a tunnel they’d dug. Desert Run is based on that event; the author has added in three totally fictional POWs. One is Erik Ernst, a particularly vile old man, who is being featured in a documentary being filmed on the former site of the camp in Papago Park.

Private investigator Lena Jones, whose company is providing security for the film, goes to Ernst’s home to get him when he fails to arrive on the set. Lena finds the double amputee dead, duct-taped to his wheelchair and beaten to death. When the old man’s caregiver is arrested for the murder, he begs Lena to help find out who really committed murder. When Lena looks into Ernst’s history, she learns that on that same Christmas Eve sixty years ago, five members of the Bollinger family were murdered near the camp. Could the new and old murders be related?

Another of Lena’s clients in Desert Run is a wealthy middle-aged woman, Beth Osmon, who has fallen for a handsome man she knows little about. Beth wants to know whether Jack Rinn is totally on the up-and-up before making the relationship more permanent. In addition to those two cases, Lena is coping with losing two of the men in her life – her former boss at the Scottsdale Police Department and her business partner. Captain Kryzinski is moving back to New York to become a private eye and Jimmy Sisiwan is getting married and leaving Desert Investigations for a corporate job. Lena also finds herself falling for the director of Escape across the Desert.
I’ve read and reviewed two of the previous three entries in this series and enjoyed them both – so I was prepared to enjoy this one. I did. I was particularly taken with Betty Webb’s ability to write older characters without stooping to stereotyped images. She is a also great storyteller and Lena Jones is a wonderful protagonist. Lena had a tragic childhood – losing both parents under mysterious circumstances and winding up in a series of foster homes, many abusive. She has problems forming attachments and is seeing a therapist to help her with her life. The therapy seems to be working – the Lena in Desert Run is mellower and much more able to deal with life’s little problems than in previous stories.

By Diana. First published in Mystery News, Feb-March 2006 edition ( )
  NewsieQ | Jul 24, 2006 |
The fourth in Betty Webb's Lena Jones series is loosely based on events near WW II-era German POW Camp Papago close to Phoenix. Webb is evolving more complexity into Lena's character, and I like that she does the unexpected. This series is beginning to evoke similar elements of Cara Black's Aimee Luduc series, set in Paris. ( )
  seasidereader | Apr 8, 2006 |
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Traveling to Philadelphia to see a concert, Stella Crown and her friends find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation after the lead singer of the band is murdered and Stella's friend Jordan Granger is accused of the crime.

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