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Lia Matera

Last Chants

Helping a family friend who’s been framed for murder has a San Francisco lawyer living like a fugitive in this mystery by the author of Prior Convictions.
Attorney Willa Jansson’s found a new position in the growing field of multimedia law—it’s the ’90s, after all. Given her track record, she’s hoping this job will be smooth sailing. Unfortunately, during her morning commute through the Financial District, she sees a friend of her mother’s—mythologist and pacifist Arthur Kenna—about to be arrested for holding a stranger at gunpoint. Willa does the first thing she can think of to save him: she pretends to be Arthur’s hostage.
Arthur explains that it was the alleged victim who’d placed the gun in his hand, but Willa knows the police won’t buy that—especially after Arthur’s assistant is found dead. Forced to hide out in a Boulder Creek mountain cabin belonging to an old flame of Willa’s, the fugitive duo soon realizes their only way out of the woods is to locate the real killer. Doing so means digging into Arthur’s assistant’s past, and divining the truth in a community of high-tech gurus, strange survivalists, a cybernetic shaman, and a nudist who thinks he’s the demigod Pan . . .
“Effectively blending the seemingly incongruous elements of high-tech computing and ancient mythology, Matera has produced a first-rate mystery, exhibiting her usual hallmarks of excellent plotting, solid characterizations, and brisk pacing.” —Booklist
“Few writers possess Lia Matera’s wry humor, especially when it comes to putting down lawyers, or her eye for Northern California fauna.” —San Jose Mercury News
305 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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