Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds ‘Bartering Bill’ Garr murdered at his rural antique store. Only one item is missing — a rare artifact believed to be the Pedro Mummy. First discovered in a cave in Wyoming, the Pedro Mummy was reported missing in the 1950s. Dr. Seth Talbot, newly arrived in town, has put out a fifteen-thousand-dollar reward for any information on the mummy, hoping that modern technology will prove his theory that a tiny race of people actually existed: one the Shoshones call the Nimerigar, or Little People.
McQuede is astounded to find the mummy in the trunk of Seth Talbot’s car. Talbot swears he;s being set up by rival co-workers — Dr. Arden Reed, in particular — who plans to benefit from his research.
McQuede suspects the theft of the mummy is a red herring used to cover up the true motive for the crime. The closer he comes to the truth, the deeper McQuede is drawn into an elaborate hoax that threatens his career and places him in grave danger.
Targeted Age Group:: General Readership
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I was living in Laramie, Wyoming, I heard tales of the Pedro Mummy which caught my interest. In the 1930s a tiny mummy was discovered by miners in the Pedro Mountains The mummified remains of a tiny man only 14 inches tall was found sitting cross-legged on a stone ledge in a cave. At the time of the mummy’s discovery, it was thought to be the remains of a tiny, ancient little man in his late sixties. Many people believed that the tiny mummy might be proof that the “Little People” of Native American legends actually existed.
This curious artifact passed from hand to hand until it finally disappeared from history without anyone really knowing who he was or how he got there.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Sheriff Jeff McQuede is a product of the High County of Wyoming. He is tough but sensitive and has a strong sense of duty. He admires his Old West namesake, a rough and tumble sheriff, and tries to live up to his reputation by following his adage, “When you think you’re right, it’s time to turn back and take another look.”
Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton, sisters and coauthors, are drawn to out-of-the-way places, old mining towns, and vast rangelands where the legends and history of the past live on. Inspired by the rugged mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, they find the lonely, high-country region a perfect setting for their novels.
Both writers live in Kansas; Loretta in Junction City, Vickie in Hutchinson. ‘Whispers of the Stones’ is their eighth book for AVALON. Others include their mysteries ‘Murder in Black and White,’ ‘Arctic Legacy,’ ‘Path of the Jaguar,’ and ‘Nightmare in Morocco.’
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