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About the Author: Susan Cummins Miller

Susan Cummins Miller is an American author of mystery novels.

Miller was born and raised in Southern California and lives in Tucson, Arizona. Before writing full time, she worked for the U. S. Government (primarily with the U. S. Geological Survey), conducting fieldwork in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. She subsequently taught introductory geology and oceanography at the college level and offered short courses in writing, geology, paleontology, and oceanography in Tucson area schools. Miller is currently a Research Affiliate of the University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women and a SIROW Scholar. Her poetry has appeared in Sandcutters: Journal of the Arizona Poetry Society; Oasis Journal (2003-2008); and the anthology What Wilderness Is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas-Austin Press, 2007). Miller's mysteries and nonfiction have been published by Texas Tech University Press.

* Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist

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Goodreads rating: 3.46

Hardcover, Published in Mar 2002 by Texas Tech University Press

ISBN10: 0896724816 | ISBN13: 9780896724815

Page count: 216

The first of the Frankie MacFarlane SeriesThe mountains west of Pair-a-Dice, Nevada, hold mysteries geological, historical, and personal. Geologist Frankie MacFarlane has mapped the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the range for the past three summers. In the final week of her dissertation fieldwork, she searches for an elusive final key to her research: a limestone marker bed—a death assemblage of fossil ammonoids—hidden by dangerous, shifting talus. But as Frankie strives to piece together her geologic jigsaw puzzle, the denizens of Pair-a-Dice, her base of operations, embroil her in a web of ancient and recent murders, a manhunt, kidnappings, and blackmail.A thirty-truck town, fifty miles from anywhere, Pair-a-Dice boasts two restaurants, three bars, seven pool tables, twenty-one slot machines, and a motley assemblage of misfits, including Diane Laterans, a punk schoolteacher who wears her Phi Beta Kappa key from her ear; Isabel Elorrio, crusty ex-marine and motel proprietor; Lon Bovey, rancher and would-be congressman; Walker, a mute handyman; the Anderson brothers, hooligans claiming kinship to infamous Bloody Bill; and a stranger, E. J. Killeen, U.S. Army, retired. Two bodies are discovered near Interstate 80, disrupting Frankie’s research. Are the killings linked to Killeen, to the new waitress in town, to Frankie’s ex-fiancé, who disappeared four months ago, or to older violence, the clues of which Frankie discovers in the mountains?Frankie’s environmental sensibilities and her grasp of geologic and human continuums make her truly a woman—and sleuth—of the new millennium.

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