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The Replacement Child (Gil Montoya Mystery #1)
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The Replacement Child (Gil Montoya Mystery #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  226 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Late on a Monday night, editor Lucy Newroe answers the phone in the Capital Tribune newsroom. The caller is the notorious Scanner Lady---an anonymous elderly tipster whose hobby is to phone the newspaper with gossip from her police scanner. The old woman tells Lucy she heard two Santa Fe cops discussing a dead body. But when Lucy checks out the tip, she discovers Scanner L ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Minotaur Books
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Garlan ✌
This is Barber's first novel, set in the American SW (New Mexico) that won the Tony Hillerman Award in 2007. It has the usual first novel flaws; excess descriptions, and some narrative that doesn't propel the story. A good editor could have pared a little bit out. Still, overall this was a good book. The story was good, and the characters were believeable. The basic storyline is about Lucy, an editor for a local newspaper who gets a tip on a murder from an unnamed source. She develops a working ...more
May 23, 2009 Veronica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hillerman fans, lovers of New Mexico.
Recommended to Veronica by: the New Book shelf
Shelves: 2009, adult-fiction
For anyone who judges a book by its cover, you may notice the medal stating that this book is the first winner of the Tony Hillerman award. Although I have never personally read any of Hillerman's work, due to the vivid descriptions of the New Mexican landscape and the rich characters created by Ms. Barber, The Replacement Child seems well-deserving of the praise. This book follows a clever (albiet risk-taking) female reporter through a tale of crime, betrayal, and deceit set in the rugged South ...more
Dec 27, 2008 MB rated it really liked it
A lot of characters to keep straight in the beginning, but I hope this is the first of a series. It's a perfect mystery, in my mind. You can't predict the ending, or any of the twists, but the wrap-up isn't so farfetched you find yourself gnashing your teeth. And I especially liked that it's set in Santa Fe and makes reference to places I know from my visits there. Makes me want to go back.

Lots to like about the main characters. Flawed, but not to the point of being unlikeable. Not too slutty,
Apr 17, 2014 Sharonm rated it it was amazing
It's easy to see why this first book in the Gil Montoya and Lucy Newroe series won the first Tony Hillerman award for a debut mystery set in the Southwest. I had previously read and loved the third in the series, which made me want to go back to the beginning of the series. Barber sets this series in Santa Fe, one of my favorite places. Each of the books added to my knowledge and appreciation of the area. I've just got one left, BONE FIRE, and I'm looking forward to that one. Hopefully, Barber' ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Cris rated it did not like it
I picked up The Replacement Child because it won the Tony Hillerman Prize which is awarded to a first novel set in the American Southwest.

Barber did a good job with her setting; both the physical geography and the cultural behavior came through convincingly. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the other aspects were written nearly as well. Barber clearly focused on characterization, and she *did* show rather than tell. But while I know lots of things about the various characters, I don't feel l
Oct 31, 2008 Monty rated it liked it
The author of this book is the winner of the first Tony Hillerman novel writing contest. The story is rich with New Mexico landmarks and culture. The first 40-50 pages were a little rough reading but once that was over the story ran on its own steam. I could hardly wait to find out how the murders would be solved. I would have given this book four stars, but I didn't like how Lucy, one of two main characters, was such a lush. I recommend this as a change of pace book to read.
Jan 16, 2016 Franny rated it liked it
This Santa Fe mystery was difficult to rate - and probably should get only 2 stars. Still, on the plus side, Barber's story-telling is very nicely done for a first novel and she keeps us guessing through most of the book. On the down side, however, the "reason" for the first murder is so implausible I could only shake my head. Then, Barber's attempts to tie several threads together failed to the point that some were just left dangling. I suspect she was awarded the "Tony Hillerman Prize" (a cont ...more
Aaron Adler
Aug 08, 2016 Aaron Adler rated it liked it
I'm making my way through the Hillerman Prize winners list: first time authors writing mysteries set in the American Southwest.

The Replacement Child is set in New Mexico and follows a SW transplant news reporter and a local down-home young sheriff as they hunt down suspects in the murder of the sister of another local deputy. No spoilers here, so don't worry. The book moves along well and is especially good at the details of working a small town newsroom (freelance journo here...) and the tediu
Jan 11, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
Best mystery I've read in a long time! Learned about New Mexico, too. A win-win.
Mar 28, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, new-mexico
Winner of the Tony Hillerman debut novel prize a few years ago. A worthy addition to the southwest mystery genre and definitely worth recommending to the "What do I read after Tony Hillerman" folks. This police procedural is set mostly around Sante Fe and Alburquerque and also highlight the tensions between police investigators and journalists. Well rounded main characters reflecting New Mexican multiculturalism, intriguing plot, drugs, a dead body thrown over the Rio Grande bridge, family tensi ...more
May 04, 2009 Kayeb rated it really liked it
I would read this author again and enjoyed the book.

Late on a Monday night, editor Lucy Newroe answers the phone in the Capital Tribune newsroom. The caller is the notorious Scanner Lady---an anonymous elderly tipster whose hobby is to phone the newspaper with gossip from her police scanner. The old woman tells Lucy she heard two Santa Fe cops discussing a dead body. But when Lucy checks out the tip, she discovers Scanner Lady has been killed.
She tries to enlist the help of Detective Gil Montoy
An interesting story with some predictable but mildly surprising twists.

Barber has many ‘day to day’ life scenes for the major characters that, while they eventually tied into the plot, seemed overly long compared to their degree of relevance to it. For most of the book, they read as if Barber had set to chronicle every moment of their lives, making this feel more like a literary or ‘slice of life’ novel than a mystery.

Barber offers a good description of northern New Mexico, but never made the p
Lyn Clark
Interesting, but convoluted.

The storylines were very convoluted. By attempting to join the two murders, it made the stories much less plausible. Also the reader was presented with multiple points of view from so many characters that it became difficult to follow. The subplot with the student and authority figure was left largely unresolved, which is disappointing. The typos are also a huge turn off. In the end I read the book, but I was left wanting more.
Jan 17, 2014 Candace rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries set in the Southwest US
This was not a bad book. I had no trouble reading it through to the end, and as I read it involved me more. It's set in northern New Mexico, which is an interesting setting.

The main problem with the book is simply that the fact that it was a first effort showed. Pacing, character development, plot believability -- all seemed to have been worked over. Because there are so many mysteries out there, a less than stellar debut doesn't impress.

However, I do have to say that I plan to read at least o
Jackie Kehl
Apr 20, 2015 Jackie Kehl rated it liked it
The mystery has some good elements and interesting characters. However, the book is not written in a way that I found engaging; so I really didn't care about the characters. I was surprised to see that it is listed as a Gil Mahoney mystery, as I thought he was a secondary character.
Jan 06, 2011 LeeAnne rated it really liked it
This is the first in a series that is set in Santa Fe and other locations in Northern New Mexico. It is also the winner of the Tony Hillerman prize. The author does a good job at making the history of Santa Fe color the story. If you are familiar with Santa Fe, Taos, the high road to Taos, the Santuario at Chimayo, this book will make you feel like you're there, breathing in the thin air redolent of green chili, tamales and pinon smoke. I'll definitely be looking for subsequent books in this ser ...more
Susan Gardiner
Jul 12, 2013 Susan Gardiner rated it really liked it
I love reading books that are set in places I've had a chance to visit. Having experienced the dazzling, vertigo-inducing view from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge as well as the mystery and beauty of Santa Fe and Taos area I really enjoyed the strong sense of place and culture that the author invoked which is a primary character in the book. Though I found her main character a little hard to like or understand at first I think she'll grow on me. Am looking forward to the 2nd in the series.
Aug 28, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
plotted fairly well-liked setting- wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the lead character. Psychologically interesting motives.
Mar 30, 2012 Jeanette rated it really liked it
This was a Tony Hillerman Award winner and is set in Santa Fe so that is a good start. Lucy Newroe is a somewhat bored editor at the local paper. She's given a tip by Scanner Lady, an anonymous reader who listens to her police scanner, about a murder that doesn't show up on the police blotter. Was it real or imagined? Then Scanner Lady is murdered. Lots of good local color, not a lot of gore. Lots of twists and turns and interesting characters.
Shannon Telles lisowski
A very descriptive author. Made me want to visit Santa Fa. A couple of nice twists to the plot...
Jul 10, 2013 Monica rated it liked it
I liked the New Mexico setting a lot. The descriptive writing was well done. Lucy Newroe is annoying a lot of the time - insecure, drinks and flirts too much, and a dogged reporter the rest.

For me the most interesting characters are Gil Montoya, the detective, and Senora Baca, the religion crazed mother of one of the murder victims. Pretty good for a first novel, but the Hillerman comparisons are wide of the mark, I think.
Jul 01, 2013 Merelyn rated it it was ok
Set in New Mexico, this is a police-newspaperwoman crime story. Probably expected too much as the author cited Tony Hillerman as her mentor & influence. Not put together too well, but a fairly good story. A young girl is murdered & the quest begins for the killer. We meet lots of characters in this book, & all seem likeable. Not a strong lead though. OK book.
Dec 10, 2012 Debbi rated it really liked it
So glad I found this one. Barber put right there in northern New Mexico and I was on the High Road with them. Good story, excellent depiction of the nuances of historical Santa Fe and environs. I liked the characters, the story and the setting (now I'm getting redundant). Excited that there is another book...
JoDee Howard
Apr 07, 2009 JoDee Howard rated it liked it
I just finished this book and, in the end, I liked it. It was slow to pick up and I had no problem taking breaks from reading it. It didn't consume my mind all the time, like the Left Behind books or some others I've read, but I'd recommend it to someone looking to do some light reading in their spare time.
Jun 26, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Interesting. I'm currently obsessed with New Mexico - so this hit that spot. Also, this was pretty fascinating from the female perspective. The main character - so many flaws - so familiar. The mystery itself - so opaque. I'm looking forward to any other books she may write..
John Kues
Sep 17, 2013 John Kues rated it liked it
Interesting character development, likeable too. The author adds a lot of New Mexico history particularly Santa Fe, and the plot is a bit involved but it was a good read.
Jul 24, 2013 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Great character development. If you have ever been to Santa Fe you will love all the local references and history.
Jan 05, 2013 Patricia rated it liked it
A pretty easy read. I found a couple of the characters annoying, but otherwise it was interesting.
Oct 11, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok
This book was so slow. It took me a while to get into, and even then, it wasn't very climatic.
Jul 29, 2010 Scott rated it liked it
Written in Tony Hillerman style, good characters, slightly lame plot twists
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