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THE DANDELION MURDERS.

Rothenberg, Rebecca (1948-1998).

ISBN 10: 0892965614 / ISBN 13: 9780892965618
Published by New York: Mysterious Press, 1994. dj, 1994
Hardcover
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. The second in the botanical mystery series featuring microbiologist Claire Sharples, a 'prickly sharp-witted sleuth' transplanted from Boston to California's Central Valley. Notable for their intelligence and wit and for the careful detail to the scientific facts and the environment inwhich they are set, this wonderful series was cut short by the author's early death in 1998. This copy is INSCRIBED on the title page "for .happy to be here at last' and dated in the year of publication. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 26044

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE DANDELION MURDERS.

Publisher: New York: Mysterious Press, 1994. dj

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

With The Bulrush Murders, author Rebecca Rothenberg began her highly praised mystery series featuring microbiologist Claire Sharples. A prickly sharp-witted sleuth transplanted from Boston, Claire enthusiastically pursues puzzles like the source of brown rot on peaches and ruinous mold on almonds in lush central California - when she's not practicing her secret talent for snooping into murder.
Alpine hulsea, a yellow dandelion-like flower, doesn't grow in the citrus groves and vineyards of the San Joaquin Valley. It belongs in the High Sierra - only it's found on the body of the unidentified corpse Claire Sharples stumbles upon in a local drainage ditch. Claire knows death is no stranger to the fields and farms of California's agri-business. Tempers run short in the local cantinas. Migrant laborers make fatal mistakes when they toil for seventy hours a week. Then, too, some common pesticides used all too often here have a lethal dose of three or four drops.
But when Claire's dead man is added alongside the bodies of two Mexican nationals also found drowned in this water-scarce region, one realizes the rash of "accidents" may be more than a tragic coincidence.
Urbane, former M.I.T. scholar Claire can't resist her natural inclination to find out as much as any can about the victims and how they died. The more questions she asks, the more she feels like a stranger in a strange land amid the Stetson-wearing growers and agri-businessmen. Unfortunately, she felt the same way at her lover Sam Cooper's house, now that his two baseball-playing sons are spending a month with their dad.
Soon Claire is running into trouble with both nature and nurture as her personal relationship starts wilting and her investigation uproots some dangerous secrets. Her instincts, honed sharp by her scientific training, are telling her to watch out for little white lies and some big black ones. And a woman's gut emotions are warning her about passions that run deep and dark through the valley ... and the yellow wildflower that may lead to catching a killer or to her own dusty death.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Still struggling to adapt to the rigors of Parkerville, Calif. (``Gateway to the High Country'')--her switch from academic research to hands-on plant pathology; her oil-and-vinegar romance with U.C. Extension botanist Sam Cooper; all that sunshine, all those Republicans--M.I.T. transplant Claire Sharples is restless even before she stumbles over the body of Jonathan Levine, an L.A. Free Press reporter drowned in an irrigation canal with a strange yellow flower from hours away stuck in his buttonhole. Parkerville police chief Tom Martelli belittles Claire's curiosity at his peril: She digs into the story on pesticide abuse Jonathan had been following, links his demise to the deaths of two Mexican workers also found in watery graves, and leaves Sam in a snit (after returning from a trip to L.A. to find his car parked outside his ``friend'' Linda Nelson's house at dawn) for lodgings in Jonathan's seedy motel room. Before she's through, Claire will have peered so closely at every man in the case--imperious grape grower Bert Yankovich; his kid brother Emil, a stuttering liberal in love with Claire; pertinacious walnut grower Wayne Harris; even Jeff Green, her knockout blind date down in L.A.--that you'll wonder if she can ever think about a man again without a shudder. As in The Bulrush Murders (1991), Rothenberg is knowing and exact about how lovers and other people fight, and her tale is twistier than mile-high blacktop. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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