Man Corn Murders – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘Now she was too weak to leave the bunk, her tongue swollen and her lips cracking against every shallow breath, and she prayed for blessed release back into a warm, wet womb, her own barren into eternity. The tears had surrendered days ago, re summon them though she would to bathe sore eyes. She blinked a final time as cotton closed her ears and the pain fled, leaving her fresh and strong, moving her young muscles with the spirit of a freed colt.’
Terry Hart, a reporter from Cleveland, Ohio, and her aunt Judith Davis, a retired world history teacher, were out for a summer long trip to explore the historic “Mormon Road” ending up in Utah’s Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Their trip takes them near Sunset Years Retirement Ranch where Deborah, an old friend of Judith lives. Upon reaching the ranch, Judith learns that Deborah has left the ranch to live in Seattle with a nephew. Puzzled by the move, Judith starts investigating and learns that two other residents have mysteriously left the ranch as well. These sudden moves become a challenge to Judith that must be solved.
As Terry and Judith explore parts of the 1.7 million acre wilderness, they run across a cave with a metal door. Upon entering the cave they discover the body of a young woman. Melanie Briggs was an anthropology student who had been missing for several weeks. Now came another mystery which Terry vowed to solve. How did Melanie become trapped inside the cave?
Through her investigation, Terry learns that Melanie believed that the ancient tribes resorted to cannibalism in their attempt to survive the elements. Her theory brings enemies and threats from some of the locals. But did it upset someone enough that they would actually lock her inside the cave?
When I was a child my Dad moved us to a small town just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. I loved seeing the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats and even the artisan wells that just “spring” up out of the ground. I’ve always wanted to go back and see more of this state of many mysteries and after reading Man Corn Murders, that desire has grown even stronger. This book is not just a murder mystery, it’s also a mini history book about the Anasazi and Fremont tribes during the 1400s. It has taken me to places and times in history that have sparked my interest to learn more.