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Bones in the Back Forty

Bones in the Back Forty

Bones in the Back Forty

Author: Marty Eberhardt
ISBN: 9781951122454 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781951122539 (ebook)
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Price: $15.95
Pages: 264

A gardener digs up an old skeleton on the grounds of Shandley Gardens. Volunteer coordinator Bea Rivers discovers that the victim, a man who disappeared in 1969, may be connected to a small town in New Mexico, where he'd made quite a few enemies among amateur archaeologists. There may be some connection with illegal artifacts... and with Shandley Gardens' founders. As Bea is drawn into the investigation, she meets an ever-increasing cast of quirky suspects. What began as an intriguing puzzle becomes considerably more threatening, while Bea negotiates single parenthood, a long-distance relationship, and huge new job responsibilities. She needs to untangle what is happening, for Shandley Gardens and for the safety of her own family.

Read the first chapters!


"When the old bones of a sixties-era murder victim surface in a peaceful Tucson desert garden in Bones in the Back Forty, suspicion radiates out through two states, unearthing buried scandals and long forgotten crimes, in a story that demonstrates justice delayed doesn't necessarily mean justice denied. Marty Eberhardt has penned another winner."
~ Kris Neri, NM-AZ Book Award-winning author of Hopscotch Life

"Bones in the Back Forty by Marty Eberhardt is a captivating mystery set in a fictional Tucson botanical garden where mysterious murders, decades apart, seem at first to be unconnected. Vivid characters put you in the midst of the illegal Mimbres pot-hunting trade amid the iconic beauty of the resilient desert Southwest. This gripping story intertwines Eberhardt's deep knowledge of the desert landscape with characters whose social and ethical leanings invite readers to pause and consider the impacts each of us has on our fragile environment."
~ Betsy Randolph, 2021-2022 President Women Writing the West

"Marty Eberhardt crafts the perfect picture of life as a public garden professional. She skillfully creates characters both as charming as the garden itself and as complicated as the history of the Southwest. When human remains are discovered at Shandley Botanical Gardens, the quiet garden is once again thrust into the public eye. Bea Rivers, a young mother and dedicated staff member, is asked to step up and step into a role she never aspired to. Bones in the Back Forty is filled with twists and turns, making it a great read! The second in a series of Shandley Garden mysteries - I'm hooked!"
~ Michelle Conklin, Screenwriter and Executive Director, Tucson Botanical Gardens

"Bones in the Back Forty, Eberhardt's exciting sequel to Death in a Desert Garden, will have you looking suspiciously at those horticulturists who specialize in succulents. Rare but beautiful desert blooms do appear in Shandley Gardens, but so do long-buried bones. Bea, volunteer coordinator in the Tucson-area facility, is curious and tenacious, determined to uncover the who, how, and why of the bones discovered in the garden's xeriscape. Eberhardt has skillfully created a world of characters we all want to know, so that we root for Bea as she digs her way into this second harrowing "garden" adventure. We shiver as not only Bea, but her loved ones face threats from a diabolical mind. Whoever planted those bones never intended for them to make their way back to the surface."
~ Mary Coley, author of Blood on the Mother Road, 2022 fiction winner, Oklahoma Book Awards


2023 Firebird Book Award - Winner, First Place, Western Fiction
2023 Firebird Book Award - Third Place, Mystery

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