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Lion's Pride: 10/23/08
Lion's Pride by Debbie Jordan is at first glance a murder mystery. A wealthy man is murdered during a hunt for a mountain lion.
Really, though, the investigation is a pretense for a larger character study. Lion's Pride is a look at marriage. There are three marriages on view: the widow whose marriage was rocky at best, the sheriff's marriage to a woman he treats as his equal, and Proctor Hanson's numerous sister-wives.
Lion's Pride is set in Arizona before statehood. A number of different cultures are vying to shape Arizona in its infancy. There is the old Spanish class structure, the native American traditions and finally the polygamous compound, forced to flee Utah when the Latter Day Saints banned polygamy. In the middle of this is Sheriff Paco trying to solve a murder and trying to help a man from Texas rescue his sister and her children from the compound.
For the most part I enjoyed the novel. Paco and his wife are a well written characters. Unfortunately the book suffers from some repetitive typesetting errors. Debbie Jordan likes to use trailing ellipses in her dialogue and the space after the last period makes the quote curl the wrong way. I know it's a common error for programs like Word but it should have been caught before taking the book to print.