Tucson author/geologist Susan Cummins Miller, a research affiliate of the University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women, writes the Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mysteries published by Texas Tech University Press. Her last book, Fracture, fifth in the series, was a Finalist for the 2012 WILLA Award in Contemporary Fiction and the 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Mystery/Suspense, and was a 2011 Southwest Books of the Year Notable Book. Her sixth mystery, Chasm, set in Grand Canyon National Park, is in press, and she’s working on her seventh novel, Rift, set in northern New Mexico. In addition to writing fiction, Miller edited A Sweet, Separate Intimacy: Women Writers of the American West, 1800-1922. Her award-winning poetry and short stories have been published in regional journals and anthologies. Her website is www.susancumminsmiller.com, and Facebook page is
FRACTURE (Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mystery #5). Texas Tech University Press, ISBN: 978-0-89672-685-7 (HC; 2011); soon available on Kindle: “The non-stop action moves from Tucson to the Bay area, where family secrets, past history and sinister plots are revealed. This is a page-turner with the added interest of local Tucson descriptions and geologic edification about California faults.” — Margaret Loghry, Pima County Library’s 2011 Southwest Books of the Year–Notable Books
HOODOO (Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mystery #4). TTUP, ISBN: 9780896726239 (HC; 2008); soon available on Kindle: “…in the opening pages [of Hoodoo], we see a lot of the New West–the West as object of study and preservation; the West as environmental battleground; and the West as multi-cultural community…As a western whodunit, Hoodoo excels at drawing “circles within circles” as MacFarlane deciphers who killed whom and why. Past encounters, copper mining, environmental conflicts and myriad personal connections are fashioned into a complicated web that, at times, seems impossible to penetrate.” Tombstone Epitaph, June 2008
QUARRY (Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mystery #3). TTUP, ISBN: 9780896725744 (HC; 2006); soon available on Kindle: “Wonderful . . . Frankie suspects that a serial killer may be on the loose, a man who is so good at assuming new identities that he almost resembles the shape-changers of Native American myth. When Frankie is asked to join a geological expedition into the Mojave Desert, she jumps at the chance to get away from the mayhem, but trouble follows her, with near-fatal results.”—Betty Webb, Mystery Scene
DETACHMENT FAULT (Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mystery #2). TTUP, ISBN: 9780896725201 (HC; 2004); also available on Kindle: Frankie ventures into an elite fringe world along the Arizona borderlands, where the antiquities trade slips too easily into international money-laundering and far higher stakes.
DEATH ASSEMBLAGE (Frankie MacFarlane, Geologist, mystery #1). TTUP, ISBN: 9780896724815 (HC; 2002); 9780896725171 (TR; 2003); also available on Kindle: The mountains west of Pair-a-Dice, Nevada, hold mysteries geological, historical, and personal. Geologist Frankie MacFarlane searches for an elusive limestone marker bed–a death assemblage of fossil ammonoids, hidden by shifting talus. But as Frankie strives to piece together her geologic jigsaw puzzle, the denizens of Pair-a-Dice, her base of operations, embroil her in a web of ancient and recent murders.
A SWEET, SEPARATE INTIMACY: WOMEN WRITERS OF THE AMERICAN WEST, 1800-1922 (anthology). TTUP, ISBN: 9780896726185 (TR; 2007): In this anthology of thirty-four writers who published during the settlement years of the American frontier, Miller assembles nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and occasional writings from women of Anglo, Chinese, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicity. Addressing such themes as isolation, drudgery, frustration, mourning, and even mysticism, these writers offer up a different frontier, one that focuses on women’s experiences as much as men’s. In her biographical and historical introductions to each writer, Miller shares insights and context as engaging as the selections themselves.