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Latest Novel

The Father Jake Mysteries

Novels that Bring the Roman Empire to life

The Latest Novel from Award Winning Author Albert Noyer

     Two months after beginning a sabbatical year in Providencia, New Mexico, 70-year-old Michigan priest Casimir “Fr. Jake” Jakubowski prepares to move into the San Isidro church rectory. After he and Detective Sonia Mora are brought word of a 3-month-old fetus found in an irrigation sluice, the priest goes with her to investigate “Baby Doe.” Discovered on property belonging to horse rancher Don Fernando, Sonia questions the man, who is antagonistic toward religion:  he blames God for not preventing a horse-related accident that killed his wife, Isabel, thirteen years earlier, and leaving him to raise Dulci, their 5-year-old daughter. Suffering from Prolonged Grief Disorder, Fernando maintains a bizarre photo shrine to his dead wife, forces Dulci to honor it as a surrogate “mom,” and treats her as still being five years of age. When this delays the bulimic girl’s pubertal development, he brings Millie Jaramillo, a Mexican-trained folk healer, to help her with Curanderismo practices. Aged nanny Eusebia Nevarez tries to counter negative effects of the shrine and woman healer. Now eighteen, Dulci struggles to throw off her father’s unhealthy fixation. 
     When a military Humvee parks at Fr. Jake’s house, Sonia cautiously investigates. Survivalist camp members David Allison and Breanna Springer have come to arrange a funeral for a Sgt. Adam Salazar, and the priest agrees to a service. NYU anthropologist Jayson Baumann next arrives to excavate the Fort Providence cemetery for remains of Civil War Apache scouts, and clashes with teacher Cynthia Plow over her excavations. Sonia, assigned the Baby Doe case, infuriates Fernando by also reopening the death of his wife, and questioning Dulci and his ranch hands about both cases. Witness Nevarez is found dead before she can testify about Isabel’s accident. When out-state church members picket what is the sham funeral of a non-existent Salazar, Breanna wreaks vengeance on a youth pastor who had abused her, and seriously endangers Fr. Jake’s life.
     Several characters from the first Fr. Jake Mystery, The Ghosts of Glorieta, re-appear in this sequel, as the Baby Doe and Isabel cases accompany events unfolding in Providencia: an Indian Graves Registration agent fears smallpox contamination at Jayson’s dig; La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman,” haunts the sluice, searching for her drowned children. Fr. Jake’s visit to a Jemez Springs cottage proves deadly, and a helicopter escape plan results in Fernando’s ranch becoming an equine sanctuary. Could Dulci recover by working with abused horses?  What is San Isidro’s role in this mystery?

 

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