John Daniel & Co
Date: October 2003
Reviewed: Advanced Reader Copy
it at Amazon
Mystery - Deaf character
Connor Westphal Mystery
News editor, Connor Westphal returns in her sixth mystery. Also
returning is a town full of eclectic characters and Conner's love
interest, former NY detective, now P.I. Dan Smith. Mystery readers
can expect a complex whodunit, some interesting twists and turns,
and a surprising end.
Seventy-two-year-old Sluice Jackson, Flat Skunk's oldest living
prospector, didn't look cold
Yesterday Flat Skunk had set a new heat record for August at 112
"Cold!" Sluice hunched over and repeated the word in
Maybe he had a fever that was giving him a chill.
Or maybe I was misreading his lips.
"Gold," Dan said, over-enunciating the word. Then he
made the sign for "gold," which also doubles as the
sign for "California." "He's saying 'gold,' Connor.
Not 'cold.'" He tightened his fists and shivered them, indicating
the sign for "cold."
like the weather and gold both are to blame for the temperature
in Skunk Flats in Sierra Nevada. Now that Sluice has found a gold
nugget it seems everyone has gold fever, except the skeptical editor-in-chief,
Connor. When another nugget is found, and turns out to be from someone's
mouth, Dan takes it to the local sheriff. Soon the government arrives
blocking off Buzzard Mine from a town of gold diggers. Eventually,
Dan is hired by a local because he thinks the skull with the lead
and gold in it belongs to his long lost relative. The story is enough
to uproot and upset Skunk Flats' history. Connor winds up in a mystery
after she meets up with an old friend and his family. Josh and Connor
dated while attending Gallaudet University. Tragedy strikes Josh's
little family while they are visiting a doctor about a cochlear
Warner's series is written in first person. She brings the honest,
sometimes skeptical, and always amusing voice of Connor to life.
Warner incorporates Connor's deafness into the storyline with lip
reading, misunderstandings, deaf devices and such. It's a great
way for the hearing to see into the deaf world and how the two can
mingle, in Connor's case, without too much damage.
series improves with each new mystery. I highly recommend it.