Reviewed by Sarah Elizabeth Porter (Republic of Macedonia 2005-07)
Staking out a country graveyard to catch vandals ex-spy Phoenix Smith and Acting Sheriff Annalynn Keyser respond to a neighboring county’s urgent call. The old friends block an exit from an abandoned farmhouse where four bank robbers were spotted. The women engage in a fatal shootout but two gang members escape. Achilles Phoenix’s K-9 dropout can’t sniff out a trail but smells a trap set to kill pursuers.
The FBI takes over the case but fails to find the fugitives or the gold coins they stole. Agents suspect Phoenix knows where the gold is. So do the elusive robbers. Phoenix must adapt her tradecraft to protect herself and others and to follow threads leading to the gang and the gold.
Mulford brings her bold character, Pheonix Smith, to life in her latest mystery in the Show Me series. Her adventure follows Pheonix in quest for justice, and stolen gold, which begins in an old country graveyard. The characters, along with the intricacies of law enforcement, are well researched and plotted out. The storyline is fast-paced with a lot of twists and developments, yet it all comes together easily. In addition to the cat-and-mouse game that Pheonix and the outlaws are playing, Mulford paints a relatable picture of her main character’s personal life and the struggles that we all face, even when we seem to have it under control. The novel felt satisfying and complete; something enjoyable to turn to when the news gets turned off and some respite is necessary.
Sarah Elizabeth Porter (Republic of Macedonia 2005-07) is the president of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New York City. She also produces the group’s annual live Peace Corps Story Slam, in which returned Volunteers take the stage in front of a live audience.
Stories can be heard on Peace Corps Stories: The Unofficial Podcast (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/peace-corps-stories-the-unofficial-podcast). Each episode features true stories about the Peace Corps, reflecting on the thrilling highs, the debilitating lows, the near-death experiences and the adventures.