The Cactus Plot: Murder in the High Desert by Vicky Ramakka

3 stars. A fun, fast read. Millicent (Millie) Whitehall is a botanist who heads out to New Mexico to spend the summer as a BLM researcher. Her job is only supposed to be cataloging plants, but when she finds a rare cactus amid two murders-this book got really good. The world building is great and the author obviously loves New Mexico and its people. There are traces of Hillerman and Nevada Barr in here that were well done. The book does suffer from ‘first book syndrome’ with the author throwing in too much plot and too many characters, so an editor with a red pen could have tightened it up. But, it is very readable and there were some plot twists and maybe a romance that will be explored in later books in the series; there is also a cat! I liked the book and it has some great bones. These characters are interesting and the set up of a botanist solving murders is a new twist to the cozy mystery genre. Book two in the series will be out the summer of 2023, I will be grabbing a copy as soon as it releases and I think you ‘OTTER’ be reading this little series!

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