Letty Valdez Mysteries
Letty Valdez Mysteries are available as trade paperback or ebook from Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Overdrive, Ingram, and Rope's End Publishing.
Published August 2019!
Letty Valdez #3 - Daemon Waters
Tucson private detective and Army veteran Letty Valdez finds the Iraq War has come home to haunt her in Daemon Waters: A Letty Valdez Mystery. Letty is hired to investigate the murder of an environmentalist, ferret out a cheating husband, and find two missing U.S. Army veterans. She discovers a sinister web of interconnected crimes, including a car bombing and two long-distance sniper assassinations. What about that special veteran, the one with the lop-sided grin that her dog Teddy found up in a tree? Can Letty keep him safe from an assassin’s bullet? Like all Letty Valdez mysteries, Daemon Waters has suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance in this Mexico-U.S. Borderlands thriller.
"Daemon Waters" is by far my favourite book in the Letty Valdez Mysteries series. There's a wonderfully tangled set of mysteries that get solved thread by thread; the characters bloom; the writing is so much more confident. There are a lot of chuckles in this one... a couple of gasps... and near the end, I was laughing out loud with a tear or two trickling down my face. I truly loved this one. ~UK Reader Dawn on Goodreads
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Released November 2017 - Letty Valdez #1
Tucson private investigator and Iraq War vet Letty Valdez joins forces with an unlikely ally, Chinese police Detective Inspector Zhou LiangWei, who has been sent to Arizona on the advice of Interpol to track the activities of Hong Kong triad gangsters.
Desert Jade is a finalist in the Thriller-Suspense category for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, 2018.
Learn more at Rope's End Publishing
Released November 2018 -
Letty Valdez #2
A murder in the library leads Tucson private investigator Letty Valdez to a lost memoir
with clues to a modern-day murder mystery.
Dragon's Revenge was a finalist in two categories: Mystery and Multicultural for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, 2019.
Learn more at Rope's End Publishing
The Dogs in Letty Valdez Mysteries
As readers of Desert Jade: A Letty Valdez Mystery know, Letty found an abandoned dog in the desert. Actually it is more accurate to say that Millie the Pit Bull had been thrown away. She had been used as bait in a dog fighting ring, and when she was too injured to go on, the bad guys just threw her away in the desert. When Letty found her, the dog was “was on its side, panting short, shallow breaths, eyes sunken and glazed. The dog shifted its amber-colored eyes to focus on Letty. Then the dog’s tail began to wag feebly. "Damn," Letty muttered to herself, but she didn't hesitate. Who could resist a dog on death's door that would wag its tail when it saw you coming? (from Desert Jade)
Millie ends up being adopted by Letty and her little brother teenager Will. She decides it’s her job to protect her alphas. She ends up performing a heroic act, and as a result, gets to sit on the couch with the humans, and she gets to eat boiled chicken for supper! (no bones)
In the next Letty Valdez mystery, Dragon’s Revenge (available now!), Millie gets a friend. His name is Teddy. Here Letty tells Will and his girlfriend about their opportunity to adopt Teddy.
“Remember that dog trainer from El Paso, Jack Gilliam, who used to be Millie’s original owner?” Will and Clarice nodded.
“He emailed me and said he has a dog that he wants us to consider adopting.”
Will sat up straighter.
Letty continued. “He’s been out in California working with these groups that do search-and-rescue in case of earthquakes or other natural disasters like mud and rock slides. He’s got a dog that was being trained to sniff out people in the debris. He thinks we might like the dog. It’s a black lab. He says the dog is very friendly and good natured. I think Millie will like him, and I can take him on runs with me, too.”
Letty had been hoping for some time to take a dog along with her on her morning runs. Millie the pit bull had never been able to run with Letty. Millie, her name was short for “milagro” – the Spanish word for “miracle,” had an almost-useless front leg. Millie had been stolen from Jack Gilliam’s home, brought to southern Arizona and used as bait in a dog-fighting ring. The tendons and ligaments of the small female pit bull’s front leg had been severely damaged. When she was too injured to be used as bait anymore, the dog had been dumped out in the desert to die slowly in the hot sun. Letty had found and rescued Millie. After a stint at the vet’s, Millie came home to live with Letty and Will.
“So if this dog is trained as a sniffer rescue dog, why does Gilliam want us to take him?” Will asked. He had a perplexed look on his face.
Letty smiled slightly. “Well, it turns out that this dog sort of flunked out of the program and now he needs a home.”
Will grinned. “He flunked out of sniffer school?”
“Yes, Gilliam said he got too distracted. He’d start doing his job sniffing and looking for people under the debris. Then he’d get distracted by the rescue workers and by other dogs, especially female dogs.”
Will guffawed. “He likes girls! I totally get that.”
Clarice elbowed Will in the ribs. She grinned, too.
“What’s the dog’s name?” Clarice asked.
“I’m not even going to ask,” Clarice giggled.
“But they call him Teddy,” Letty added. “Gilliam says Teddy is a sweetheart, very friendly…”
“Especially friendly to the girls,” Will broke in, a big grin still on his face.
“Gilliam says he doesn’t want to the dog to be adopted by just anybody. He thought of us first. So what do you think?”
“Yes!” Will and Clarice said at the same time. Will added, “Teddy will be a perfect fit here.”
“Okay. That means you have to help take care of him. Agreed?”
They both nodded their heads.
“Millie will like him,” Clarice said.
“And Teddy’s going to like Millie for sure. She’s definitely a girl!” Will added.
“Okay. I’ll tell Gilliam to bring him to Tucson on his way home to El Paso.”
My name is Sunday. I'm a rescue from the animal shelter in Tucson. That means I'm a real dog. I was adopted on a Sunday. That's how I got my name. Millie the rescue pit bull in Letty Valdez Mysteries looks like me! We could be sisters. I like to take long walks and I like dog treats. I like Teddy, too. I don't read books although I don't mind at all if you read to me.
I'm Teddy. I'm a trained sniffer dog. I like to eat. I like dog food, dog treats, cheese, meat of any kind, including fish, cookies, and noodles. I like to eat. I like Millie, too. She's a girl dog. I like girl dogs. Millie is my best friend. I'm the one who found Dan up in the tree. Letty likes Dan, and Dan likes Letty.