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Deborah J. Ledford Books In Order

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Publication Order of Eva "Lightning Dance" Duran Books

Publication Order of Smoky Mountain Inquest Books

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

How NOT to Survive the Holidays(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mystery in the Wind(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Wind(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
How NOT to Survive a Vacation(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest, So Wild(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Change is in the Wind(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rubicon Ranch: Riley's Story(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Desert Justice(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Novel Writing Tips and Techniques(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rubicon Ranch: Necropieces(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Crime Time(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Killer Nights(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Ladykillers(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Love Kills(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
SoWest: Wrong Turn(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Deborah J. Ledford is an American author of mystery thrillers and police procedural best known for her novels, Smoky Mountain Inquest, Eva Lightning Dance, and Steven Hawk & Inola Walela book series. She was an Agatha Award Winner and a two-time nominee for the Anthony Award for her Best Audiobook Category. Deborah is also a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and her award-winning stories have been featured in many different print publications and literary and mystery anthologies.

Besides authoring books, Deborah J. Ledford is also a screenwriter and is the president and producer of IOF Productions Ltd, an independent media company. Before starting her career as a writer, Debora worked for 10 years as a professional scenic artist on industrial films, motion pictures, live theatre, and national commercials. Because of her work on industrial films, she was able to get security clearance through the United States government. Her highest acclaim in the film industry is her scenic artistry work in the Raising Arizona film. Deborah is a resident of Phoenix, Arizona.

Redemption is the debut novel in the Eva Duran series by Deborah J. Ledford. The story unfolds in Taos County, where Eva Duran, a Taos Pueblo native and deputy sheriff, stumbles upon a woman’s lifeless body straddling the boundary between Pueblo land and Taos County. The mystery deepens when Eva identifies the victim as one of four Pueblo women who were reported missing. To her dismay, one of the missing women is her best friend, Paloma, a renowned hoop dancer.

Realizing the potential jurisdictional complexities, Eva is prepared to initiate her investigation, even if it means going undercover and off-duty to locate the remaining three missing women.

The narrative is driven by the perspectives of its main characters, starting with the antagonist, Alice Jones, a traveling nurse who has set up a mobile clinic on tribal land. Alice harbors ambitions of developing a “cure for heroin addiction” to advance her career and gain recognition among medical professionals. To test her formula, she kidnaps four native women found in the agony of addiction at a drug dealer’s hideout on Pueblo land. She transports the women to an abandoned home on tribal land, where she locks them away.
Eva’s quest to find her friend Paloma is persistently thwarted by Paloma’s desperate son, Kai, who is determined to locate his mother. Kai even contemplates a harrowing jump from the Rio Grande Bridge at one point. In another heart-pounding scene, Eva arrives at her grandfather’s deserted house, where she believes Paloma is held captive, but a call from Kai interrupts her entry as he declares an emergency.

Further complicating matters is Cruz Romero, a deputy in the Pueblo police force who harbors past romantic feelings for Eva. Cooperating with a Taos County deputy could jeopardize his standing with the tribe. Santiago, Paloma’s brother and an influential figure on the Tribal Council, is also a key character with suspicions surrounding his knowledge of Paloma’s situation. As two of the missing women’s bodies are discovered, the pressure intensifies for Eva to rescue Paloma.

While “Redemption” follows the suspense novel formula, it maintains intrigue by revealing the identity of the killer upfront. The book addresses real-world issues, notably drug addiction and trafficking on Indian reservations, attributed in part to their vast size and sparse population. The narrative also delves into the theme of individuals striving to meet others’ expectations, with Eva grappling as the sole Native American and one of the few women in the Sheriff’s Department.

Furthermore, the novel sheds light on the plight of missing Indigenous women and the pervasive drug problem on reservations, demonstrating how tribal, city, and county police forces collaborate to combat these issues. The four missing women are all exceptionally talented in arts crucial to the Pueblo culture, including drum making, basket weaving, jewelry crafting, and hoop dancing.

The book boasts a robust cast of characters, with Eva at its core. Her tribal name is Lightning Dance, yet her quiet demeanor and exceptional marksmanship have earned her the nickname “Silent but Deadly” at the police academy. While she occasionally contemplates going rogue to achieve her goals, her intelligence and commitment to justice keep her on the right path. She understands that recklessness won’t bring criminals to justice and may jeopardize her career, which she values deeply.

The narrative provides insight into the thoughts and perspectives of various characters, including Paloma’s hope that Eva will find her, Kai’s turbulent emotions as an eighteen-year-old, and Alice’s perspective as the captor of the missing women. Overall, Redemption is a gripping, fast-paced tale featuring a central character, Eva Duran, whose compelling persona leaves readers eagerly anticipating more.

Staccato is the first book in Steven Hawk & Inola Wahela series by Deborah J. Ledford. It delves into the lives of three world-class pianists residing in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. This fast-paced thriller is filled with music, murder, and jealousy, forming the core elements of the story.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, Staccato immerses readers in the world of professional musicians, unraveling the psychological intricacies of its characters. Ultimately, the narrative culminates in retribution, building to a crescendo of notes that unfold at the literary pace of a maestro’s staccato.

We meet Nicholas Kalman, a rising star in the world of concert pianists. Two years into his career, Nicholas discovers his absent father’s journal, which serves as both a warning and a confession. The journal cautions him about someone referred to as “Uncle” and advises him to beware of this individual. Uncle is none other than Alexander, a domineering maestro, and mentor with a clubfoot who has molded Nicholas into a brilliant musician, outshining his competitors at every turn. Alexander is a man of imperfections; he indulges in alcohol, demands perfection, and vents his anger through lashings.

As the narrative unfolds, Nicholas discovers his lover’s lifeless body in his Porsche, while Timothy hones his Prokofiev skills to steal the spotlight. Sampte dutifully carries out orders, and bodies begin piling up. Nicholas embarks on a quest to find the killer and protect his own life, while Deputy Hawk investigates a grim case. Throughout it all, Alexander orchestrates both musical notes and lives.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Deborah J. Ledford

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