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The Cactus Plot: Murder in the High Desert

Cactus Plot

The Cactus Plot

Author: Vicky Ramakka
ISBN: 9781932926835 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781932926842 (ebook)
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Price: $16.95
Pages: 276

"What have I gotten myself into!" Botanist Millie Whitehall leaves her New Jersey home to take a job in New Mexico. She plans to spend a peaceful summer surveying rare plants. Instead she becomes entangled in two heartless murders.

Millie befriends one too many characters that she encounters during her work in the back country. Will it be the friendly oil and gas field hand, the out-spoken environmentalist, the laid-back cowboy, a charming foreign tourist, or handsome young Navajo biologist that ends up threatening her life?

Cozy mystery lovers will enjoy adventuring along with Millie as she draws on her knowledge of ecology to save an endangered cactus, before she-and the cactus-face extinction at the hands of the murderer.

Read the first two chapters!


Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author of the Chee-Leaphorn-Manuelito series
Writer Vicky Ramakka takes the reader onto isolated BLM land in the Four Corners Country for this debut novel. Besides weaving an intriguing story, she shatters the perception that this country is barren. Millie, the botanist protagonist from the East, rejoices in the variety of plants - even though some species are directly involved in ghastly murders. Filled with interesting likeable characters, this book could be the seed of a new series of mysteries set in our beautiful Southwest.
Jonathan Thompson, environmental journalist and author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster
Vicky Ramakka's page-turner "The Cactus Plot" does an excellent job at capturing the sense of place and people of Northwestern New Mexico, along with the ins and outs of oil and gas development there. I've been covering these issues for decades, and I still learned a few things from the Cactus Plot!
Elaine Benally, Director, San Juan College West
Vicky is very description in her mention of Navajo places and events, such as the Shiprock Flea Market. You can just imagine the colorful items, the smells in the air and hear the children wandering among shoppers. The Cactus Plot covers the importance of BLM field specialists' surveys and their efforts in saving native plants that could become endangered.
Scott Graham, Four Corners Free Press
A Trio of Local Voices
Utah Native Plant Society, Review in Sego Lily Newsletter, Fall 2019
Book Review by Cathy King (review on page 19).


2020 CIPA EVVY Bronze Medal Winner in Mystery/Crime/Detective category
Second Best - Fiction for Adult Readers, NM Press Women 2020 Communications Contest
Winner 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards - Cozy Mystery

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