Betty Webb

Lena Jones: Desert Lost (Paperback)

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Winner of the Best Mysteries of 2009 of Library Journal.

While running surveillance in an industrial section of Scottsdale, P.I. Lena Jones discovers the body of a woman connected to Second Zion, an infamous polygamy cult based in northern Arizona. With the help of a former "sister wife," Lena discovers a shocking secret: in a society where one man can have ten wives, nine men will have none. Second Zion makes certain these possible rivals don't stick around by turning these teens into Arizona's "lost boys."

While searching for the dead woman's lost son, Lena is surprised by a visit from Madeline, the beloved foster mother from whom she'd been forcibly parted at the age of nine. Madeline's presence renews Lena's memories of her own damaged childhood and brings new clues to the identity of her biological parents, who seemingly abandoned her when she was four years old.

But their joyful reunion is interrupted when Lena learns that her close friend, television star Angel Grey, is being stalked by an increasingly violent mental patient. When Lena flies to Angel's aid, she finds that danger has followed her to Hollywood.

Arizona polygamy and its discarded sons, the deceptively insulated world of Beverly Hills, and Lena's lost past converge in a case fraught with danger.


Series Title
Lena Jones
Poisoned Pen Press, Inc.
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Betty Webb
Desert Lost
Publication Date
January, 2011
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches

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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

First Line: Thumb out,...

First Line: Thumb out, shoulders hunched against the wet Phoenix night, eighteen-year-old Jonah King stood at the curb trying to catch drivers' eyes as they stopped for the light. Private investigator Lena Jones is running a surveillance job in an industrial section of Scottsdale when she hears suspicious noises outside the compound. Checking to see what's going on, Jones not only finds a body dump, but she knows the victim-- a member of Second Zion, a polygamy cult based in northern Arizona. With the help of a former "sister wife" Lena searches for the killer and learns what happens to all the unwanted male children of polygamy. This is the second Lena Jones mystery to be centered around the topic of polygamy, with Desert Wives being the first. It is obvious that Webb feels very deeply about the subject as she skillfully weaves the sickening facts about the practice throughout the story. Just as interesting as the plot line involving polygamy is the plot line which has Lena's favorite foster parent coming for a visit. Lena's traumatic childhood plays a large role in each book. She's a complicated woman that I've come to care a great deal about, and although you can read Desert Lost without becoming confused, I would recommend that you read the books in this series in order as Lena learns to come to grips with past tragedies. If you're in the mood for well-plotted mysteries that keep you guessing, that give you a true picture of present-day Phoenix and Scottsdale, and that give you complex characters that you can sink your teeth into, I welcome you to the world of Lena Jones.

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