Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is.
Sissy: We first encountered Lois D. Brown through her “Cycles” series, which we enjoyed, but Robbed of Soul is more adult oriented and really different. Not different in that it is not as well-written and engaging, but different as in completely unique in its storyline and focus. How many books have you read, Bubby, which embrace the subject matter of Montezuma’s gold? And have an ex-CIA agent suffering from PTSD as a protagonist? Plus ghosts? In the very small and in-the-middle-of-nowhere town of Kanab, Utah? Huh?
Bubby: You’re right, Sissy. Totally new and different. A little treasure, a little romance, a LOT of ghosts, some benevolent and some assuredly not. I can’t tell you how many books I open up, read the first few pages and feel like I’ve already read the same story 100 times before. Robbed of Soul was that rare breath of fresh air that we search for.
Sissy: I’ve gotta tell you right now that my maternal grandma came from Kanab, Utah, yes she did, and she was smack dab full of spit and vinegar and quirkiness, just like some of the characters portrayed by Lois D. Brown. And having been to Kanab to check out the family roots and skulk about the old cemetery I can tell you that it is a landscape perfect for Indian ruins, petroglyphs, and ghostly encounters. Plus all the rocks (polished or otherwise) you might desire. Our heroine Maria Branson is a multi-faceted personality who feels real, and I wanted so badly for her to be able to exorcise her demons and carry on with her life. The romantic interest dude, described as (seemingly) overly confident yet attractive, reminds me of my husband. So you’ll have to read the book to find out if Maria has a happy love outcome like moi.
Bubby: I had forgotten that Grandma was from Kanab. Small world! My absolute favorite part of Robbed of Soul was all the many twists and turns, convolutions and mysteries. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on, BOOM! Plot twist! Oh, and my other favorite part was the interaction between the characters – there was some serious chemistry, both good and bad, between some of these people. And my last favorite part (cause whoever said you could only have one favorite?) is the detailed descriptions of Maria’s struggle to find that part of her that truly makes her feel alive again after her tragedy in Tehran.
Sissy: Because I took an interest in Grandma and her roots and the rock we brought from Kanab to put in her fireplace surround I am sure she has chosen to be my guardian angel and not yours. Too bad for your disinterest. I’m sure Grandma would have loved this murder mystery set in her hometown–I sure did. I could not figure out who the culprit was, and thoroughly enjoyed the historical mysteries that were solved on the journey to solve the modern homicide. Well done, Lois D. Brown. Are there going to be sequels to “Robbed of Soul?”
Bubby: I certainly hope there will be a sequel. Or two!
Click HERE to buy Robbed of Soul by Lois D. Brown at Amazon.com