Rebecca Rothenberg (1948-1998) was a writer, musician, epidemiologist, amateur botanist, president of the San Gabriel chapter of the California Native Plants Society, and the author of the Claire Sharples Botanical Mystery series. The first, The Bulrush Murders, was nominated for the Anthony and Agatha Awards, and was named as one of the Top Ten Mysteries of 1992 by the Los Angeles Times. After her untimely death in 1998, her friend and colleague, Taffy Cannon (author of the Nan Robinson series and the Agatha and Macavity Award-nominated Guns and Roses) completed the manuscript of The Tumbleweed Murders.

Becky's family wishes to recognize the following people for their dedication, love, and service: Jane Chelius, Sandra Dijkstra, Terry Fain, Meredith Phillips, and above all, the talented and lovely Taffy Cannon. Only a saint would do research in Bakersfield in late summer.

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The Tumbleweed Murders

by Rebecca Rothenberg, completed by Taffy Cannon

Passion, greed, deceit and murder surface when plant pathologist Claire Sharples discovers a skeleton buried beside the Kern River and finds herself drawn into events of a half-century earlier. This evocative botanical mystery moves between past and present in California's Central Valley, exploring the worlds of oil, cotton and country music.

Claire tries to unravel the mystery of the singing Cherokee Rose's lost love with the help of enigmatic Ramon Covarrubias and his eccentric journalist cousin Yolanda, in a story dictated as much by the nature of the land as by the character of its inhabitants. These are secrets someone is willing to kill to protect, and Claire's quest puts her own life in danger.

Praise for The Tumbleweed Murders

"...An absolutely beautiful book--beautifully written and beautifully plotted."

— Susan Anderson, BookBrowser

"A complex blend of romance, science and ingenious clues. Rothenberg, who died before completing the fourth in the series, is well-served by her friend Cannon, who finishes the tale with brio, intelligence and a respect for the biota of California's unadmirable San Joaquin Valley."

— Kirkus Reviews


Copyright © 2001-2003 Martha Rothenberg. All rights reserved. Feedback:Martha Rothenberg