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Desert Wind: A Lena Jones Mystery (Lena Jones Mystery #7)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  191 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews

When P.I. Lena Jones’s Pima Indian partner Jimmy Sisiwan is arrested in the remote northern Arizona town of Walapai Flats, Lena closes the Desert Investigations office and rushes to his aid. What she finds is a town up in arms over a new uranium mine located only ten miles from the magnificent Grand Canyon. Jimmy’s sister-in-law, founder of Victims of Uranium Mining, has
Paperback, Large Print, 350 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published February 1st 2012)
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May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I've liked these books in this particular series. I've read 3 so far. The author does her research on the topics which her stories touch on. I like that it seems thorough and written in a way that is believable and I also feel like I learn something.

She also has great characters that also seem real. I like that there wasn't a romance in this one. Sometimes they feel like an after-thought. Lena, the MC, went to Utah to find her partner, Jimmy, to help him out with a family problem. I liked that
Janet Robel
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suspenseful and horrific in it's subject matter. Scary in a different way that makes you think. Kudos to the author for all the research involved in creating this book, and for a strong female protagonist, Lena Jones, who doesn't back down from her investigation.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, cozy, betty-webb, own
In this Lena Jones adventure, she decided to respect her partners Jimmy requested to stay out the situation where his adopted brother is being held as a material witness in the murder of a man who he had a public disagreement. Lena changed her mind when she receives Information that Jimmy has been arrested for intimidating a witness. She arrives in Walapai Flats, Arizona to find him free on bail. Lena will do the investigation after Jimmy's adopted Father hires DI. Lena finds the locals not sell ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Lena Jones Mystery series by Betty Webb is a first class mystery series and I am thrilled to be able to review the newest addition via Net Galley, Desert Wind, which will be available in February.

Once again Betty Webb brings her rich writing skills to a social issue plaguing the Southwest. This time Betty exposes the nuclear testing and fallout and consequences. While the testing occurred in Nevada the winds brought the nuclear fallout to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Cancer and other
I recently attended a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) event and heard Betty Webb discuss her fiction writing on a panel of professionals speaking on how they transitioned from newsroom & news editorial careers into other pursuits. Desert Wind is the first Lena Jones mystery I've read. These appeal to me because I am aware of Betty's extensive investigative journalism expertise. She cites very interesting information and factual events.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a book I would normally read. Heavy on environmental issues.

The mystery and unanswered questions held my attention. With several sub-plots and personal issues that were resolved in addition to the main mystery.
I had trouble jumping back and forth between times periods, but she did make it clear when she did.

The woman detective had foul language, perhaps justified ?? by the information she was trying to reach from the characters who would react to those words.

A change of pace from my normal r
Cathy Cole
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Line: From his vantage point with the horses on a small hillock, Gabe Boone watched the cameras track the actor across the simmering desert floor toward the skin-draped yurt.

Jimmy Sisiwan-- Lena Jones' partner in Desert Investigations-- is her bedrock. Not only does she rely on his talent and expertise at work, she considers him family. Having been shot in the head and left for dead by her mother and then raised in a series of foster homes, Lena doesn't give her trust or love to anyone eas
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“OK, I'm going to write a book set in the present day where the Duke – John Wayne for those too young to remember – is going to be a supporting character.” Betty Webb sets herself a nice little challenge in “Desert Wind”, the 7th book in the Lena Jones series. AND, in my opinion, she actually succeeds.

John Wayne played Genghis Kahn in “The Conquerer”, which was filmed in Northern Arizona. Webb's contention is that many of the stars, staff, and extras in this movie – including Wayne – died of can
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lena Jones’s assistant Jimmy Sisiwan takes time off from Desert Investigations to help his brother Ted Olmstead. Ted is a suspect in the murder of a public relations representative for a controversial uranium mine. When Jimmy gets arrested, Lena travels from Scottsdale to Jimmy’s home town of Walapai Flats to help him and his brother.

“Desert Wind” is the latest in Betty Webb’s intelligent Lena Jones series. These books are mysteries that are centered around serious issues. This installment tack
Kathleen Hagen
Desert Wind, by Betty Webb, a-minus, narrated by Marguerite Gavin, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

This book is one of the Lena Jones series. Lena is a PI with a partner, with her partner, Jimmy Sisiwan, from the Pima Indian tribe. Lena is a former cop, and Jimmy is an expert in computer hacking. When Lena comes to her office one day and finds Jimmy is not there, and has left no note but leaves an answering machine message that he’ll be gone for a couple weeks, she star
Gloria Feit
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, a novel’s ending spoils what preceded it. In this case, a well-thought-out plot concludes with a muddied confession to three murders. It begins when PI Lena Jones’ partner, Jimmy Sisiwan, disappears from Desert Investigations and Scottsdale and re-appears when he is arrested in the small Arizona town here his adopted family operates a dude ranch. It seems his “brother” is being held as a “material witness” in the murder of a PR flak for a uranium mine which is about to open nearby. Ap ...more
Cluessister Williams
I like a book that has me still thinking about it two days later. Betty Webb’s Desert Wind is one of those. She also manages to get John Wayne into the first scene, so I was hooked from the beginning. The Duke has a recurring role in the story as a ghost, and his movie portrayal of Genghis Khan provides a key plot point.

Webb’s reporter background clearly shows. She reveals surprising and disturbing research about uranium mining and the ongoing effects of nuclear bomb testing in Arizona in the 1
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The seventh of a series, Webb's Lena Jones is a damaged, gutsy, complex and likable heroine whose own dark secrets are revealed bit by bit as the books progress.

These books are based upon backgrounds of true injustice, and are meticulously researched. This book is based upon the heedless and cold-blooded way the U.S. government continued over many years to perform nuclear testing in the American Southwest, and the on-going sickness and death as a result. There was a tremendous government cover-u
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lena Jones is an Arizona private investigator whose cases just happen to spotlight issues such as polygamy and its effects not just on those "married" but the extra boys in the cult. As a character she is multifaceted and always a pleasure to read about. As an issue-driven series, Betty Webb's journalism background makes them informative, yet not didactic. This series is on my "read as soon as possible after release" list.

In Desert Wind, Betty spotlights the Downwinders, those downwind of the ab
Arletta Dawdy
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Betty Webb's work is always an intriguing and pertinent read. DESERT WIND is not an exception as she tackles the subject of uranium poisoning of people, land, animals, and water in the context of governmental and private business denial and obfuscation. Webb's characters ring true as we see her protagonist Lena Jones continue to grow in activism, crime solving and self-understanding and acceptance. Jimmie Sisiwan is the perfect counter-balance to Lena. Much has been written and said of Webb's jo ...more
Lynn Lerch
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Betty Webb has another winner! Lena Jones comes to work to discover her partner isn't a work and has taken off to the unknown. She tracks him down to a town on the Arizona border where his adopted family runs a dude ranch. Betty jumps from 1956 to the present time to tell this story. Did you know that the Atomic Energy Committee told Americans in the 50's that the neuclar bomb testing in Nevada was safe? John Wayne tha movie "The Conquerer" where he and the cast,crew, and animals got cancer and ...more
Grass_Roots Books and Music
This is #7 in the Lena Jones mystery series. The focus of Desert Wind is uranium poisoning. It’s set on the Navajo reservation and surrounding areas. The author is a former journalist and her topic for this novel is well researched. As with all her books, you are left with the feeling of having learned something. It is a good solid mystery.

If you like this book, you may also enjoy the other books in her Lena Jones series or her Gunn Zoo series, The Anteater of Death and The Koala of Death. Other
Pinal County Library District
Betty Webb is a local Arizona author who writes mysteries that tackle thorny problems involving locals. Her most recent Lena Jones mystery, Desert Wind, deals with the mining of uranium near the Grand Canyon, and the plight of the “Downwinders”, those people and their families who lived and worked downwind from the nuclear bomb testing that went on in Nevada during the 1950s through the 1960s.

All of her Lena Jones mysteries are based on stories that she covered as a reporter in Arizona and she o
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual with her Lena Jones books, Betty Webb has done extensive research to back up her story, this time about uranium mining and A-bomb testing in Nevada and northern Arizona. The story is gripping with an interesting side story relating to John Wayne and the making of the movie The Conqueror made in the mid-50s in southern Utah near the site of the tests.

Good job as usual, and some very interesting characters from "Walapai Flats," Lena's partner Jimmy's home town.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Intense with the personification of too much pain... But it is a story that is close to home. I would have liked to see a little more focus and fewer side stories as it were. At the same time I am aware that the side stories helped define the multi-problem realities of the area as well as touch on the complex scope of the problems facing the region affected by the realities described in the story. It is a story leaving one with more questions than answers.
Sue Squire
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Okay... I started on the 7th of a series. I like the book well enough to find the other 6 and get the low-down on Lena and Jimmy's PI lives and all the other info from their personal lives. I love the location of the book. I lived in AZ for 25 years and recognized the areas they were in. By the middle of this book you think you know who-done-it but with 1/2 the book left you know there is gonna be a twist or two.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Walapai Flats in Northern Arizona, Private Investigator Lena Jones and her partner Jimmy Sisiwan return to Walapai, Jimmy’s home town to help solve a murder that Jimmy’s brother has been accused of committing. Murder, Uranium mining and the “fall out” from the government testing of nuclear bombs have left a lot of people sick and dead.
Helga Kivisto
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very frightening what the government does to continue to endanger the lives of Americans. Very entertaining and exciting. I like this author very much and have read everything she has written. Having been a journalist, the factual background of her storied had taught me quite a bit and spurred me on to more research!
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could give this 10 stars! Betty Webb's best so far. This story has Lena wondering where her partner Jimmy has gone off to, leading her to his hometown. The mystery goes back to the 1950s when John Wayne was filming The Conqueror and also delves into how that film may have eventually led to his death.

Betty Webb did extensive research. Very well done!
Mary Ann
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the environment
Recommended to Mary Ann by: Jessica McCann
This is a tough review to write, the mystery part was okay, however; reading the "Author's Note" at the end of the book was mind sobering. Did not realize how much our country had & continues to be affected by the nuclear bomb tests.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lena has once again become embroiled in a mystery with a great cast of suspects, and some wisdom from John Wayne. I learn so much from Betty Webb's books it heightens my appreciation perceptably. Love Lena, love Jimmy...on to Desert Rage for me!
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Betty Webb takes us to northern Arizona and reveals a secret only lately revealed by the Atomic Energy department. Fascinating story and characters. Once again Lena Jones solves the crime, with difficulty.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In each of Betty's books I've learned something about the topic and this book is no different. The research Betty put into it is obvious.
Sue Kelso
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books where I learn things. With the research that Betty does with her books, I always do. Good characters, good settings.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a "who-done-it" that has stayed with me. Webb uses a familiar genre to get us thinking about a period of time and its effects than I knew little about. A surprise of a book.
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As a journalist and literary critic for more than 20 years, Betty -- a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, where her detective Lena Jones also lives -- has interviewed U. S. presidents, Nobel prize-winners, astronauts who’ve walked on the moon, polygamy runaways, the homeless, and the hopeless.

Now retired from journalism to write full time, she also contributes the Small Press column for Mystery Sce
More about Betty Webb...

Other Books in the Series

Lena Jones Mystery (9 books)
  • Desert Noir (A Lena Jones Mystery #1)
  • Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2)
  • Desert Shadows (A Lena Jones Mystery #3)
  • Desert Run (A Lena Jones Mystery #4)
  • Desert Cut (A Lena Jones Mystery #5)
  • Desert Lost (A Lena Jones Mystery #6)
  • Desert Rage (Lena Jones Mystery, #8)
  • Desert Vengeance (Lena Jones Mystery, #9)

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