Molten Mud Murder
First book in the Alexa Glock Mystery series! For a normal tourist, finding a body in a geothermal pool in New Zealand might ruin a vacation. Forensic specialist Alexa Glock, however, sees a chance to help local law enforcement with a baffling case. But as she finds herself embroiled in the tense investigation, she can't help but wonder: is the past better left undisturbed, or unearthed?
These thrilling New Zealand mysteries are:
- Perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Nevada Barr
- For readers of international mysteries and forensic investigation mysteries
When a body is found half-submerged in a molten mud pot in one of Rotorua's famous geothermal wonderlands, forensics expert Alexa Glock spots a way to prolong her stay in New Zealand, which she has been visiting for work. Teeth are her expertise, and the investigation needs her help, as other ways of identifying the body may have... melted away.
Joining Detective Inspector Bruce Horne and his team, Alexa finds herself sleuthing out more than teeth. She soon discovers that the murder victim, a city councilman, had trespassed on an island sacred to the Maori. The ancient punishment for such a transgression is disaster, demonic possession, or death... and when she visits the island to investigate, the same outcome is promised for her. Alexa is fascinated by New Zealand culture but doesn't quite believe in ancient spirits returning to exact revenge, so when another victim turns up dead, she begins to wonder whether the real threat is something--or someone--much closer to home.
A fast-paced forensic mystery set in New Zealand, Molten Mud Murder introduces Alexa Glock, an investigator with a knack for gleaning the truth from bones and teeth. Full of enough forensics and action for fans of Kathy Reichs or the tv series Bones, Sara E. Johnson presents a page-turning story about facing the past and cracking the door open to an unexpected future.
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About the Author
Sara E. Johnson lives in Durham, North Carolina. She worked as a middle school reading specialist and local newspaper contributor before her husband lured her to New Zealand for a year. Her first novel, Molten Mud Murder, is the result.
"Move over Kay Scarpetta and Temperance Brennan. There's a new forensics expert in town, even though "town" is 8500 miles away. Alexa Glock is a forensic odontologist and qualified crime-scene investigator who debuts in Sara E. Johnson's engrossing first novel, set in New Zealand. Fleeing a relationship gone bad in North Carolina, and fresh from a visiting professorship in Auckland, Alexa impulsively offers her services to a police department at the tip of North Island where an unidentified body has been pulled from a pool of molten mud. Johnson gives us a compelling picture of modern New Zealand overlaid by Maori culture with its strict taboos and amazing artifacts. Alexa hopes to stay in New Zealand and if this leads to a full series, my fingers are crossed that she gets her wish." - Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author
"Johnson provides a fascinating view of New Zealand and insights into the Maori culture...armchair travelers will have fun.
" - Publishers Weekly
"There's a strong sense of place, history, and Maori culture in this compelling debut novel. The mystery combines forensic investigation with the rich details of a fascinating culture. Fans of Kathy Reichs's mysteries will appreciate the forensics, while Jane Harper's readers will enjoy the rich culture." - Library Journal, STARRED review
"Sara Johnson writes evocatively about the geothermal mud pits (similar to those in Yellowstone National Park) and the protected Maori tribal island. " - Reviewing the Evidence