In this 7th book in the series Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates the death of Alice Rogers, a wealthy older woman gruesomely murdered in the Arizona desert. Alice's self-absorbed arrogant son and belligerent daughter direct suspicion at Alice's boyfriend Farley Adams - who soon makes himself scarce.
At the same time Joanna has to contend with rabid environmentalists who oppose a building project whose approval may have involved some chicanery and corruption. To add to the chaos Joanna inadvertently gets custody of Junior, a developmentally disabled man of about fifty who was apparently abandoned in a church by his family.
Plenty of complications arise with all of the above cases which Joanna and her deputies have to sort out. Meanwhile, in Joanna's personal life her boyfriend Butch is getting more serious and her deputy sheriff Dick Voland is jealous and angry. The usual characters make an appearance in the story, including two of my favorite trouble-makers, spiteful reporter Marliss Shackleford and Joanna's controlling mother, Eleanor Lathrop Winfield.
This book is an enjoyable addition to the Joanna Brady saga.