RogerBW's Blog

Short Cut to Santa Fe, Medora Sale 14 January 2020

1994 mystery, sixth and last in the John Sanders/Harriet Jeffries series. Sanders and Jeffries are setting off on a romantic holiday in New Mexico when they find themselves giving a lift to two children who've missed the tour bus on which they were supposed to hitch a ride. Then things start getting quite strange.

There are plot layers within layers, so I won't go into much detail about that; the hijacking of the bus is only the first step, and the second is the way in which nobody on it seems to be quite as they appear. There's never much doubt about just who is going to turn out to be responsible for it all, but why he's doing it is the mystery.

We also see the same pattern of subplot that showed up in books 4 and 5, of a woman whose life is a bit of a mess getting into trouble with criminals and falling in love with her rescuer – which is all very well and not objectionable in itself, but for three books in a row gets a bit much.

What really impressed me, though, was the stupidity of the villain: for someone supposed to have been smart enough to get police and state officials in his pocket, he does an awful lot of leaping to conclusions.

Still, the story is enjoyable, and the people are interesting. Having now read all of the Sanders and Jeffries books, I don't regret it, but nor can I really say that they fulfilled the promise I saw in that first short story in Christmas Stalkings. There are flashes of excellence, certainly, but this isn't a series I'd go out of my way to recommend.

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See also:
Christmas Stalkings, Charlotte Macleod

Previous in series: Pursued by Shadows | Series: John Sanders-Harriet Jeffries

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