Summer of the Dragon by Elizabeth Peters
I went to Arizona that summer for my health Talk about irony...
No, I don't have asthma, or anything like that. What I had--and still have, for that matter--was a bad case of parents. Two of them.
Mind you, they are marvelous. I love them. Separately they are unnerving but endurable. Together...disaster, sheer disaster. Ulcermaking. Productive of high blood pressure, nervous tension, hives, indigestion, and other psychosomatic disorders.
Summer of the Dragon is another book that I've read many times. It was published in the late '70's and Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz is the author. I am very fond of this author's female protagonists. They are always strong and capable and funny - if you've read any of her Amelia Peabody books, you know what I mean. This book takes place in northern Arizona and concerns treasure hunting, anthropology, and wacky people. D.J. Abbott is the female lead, a graduate student who comes to the area for a summer job. Chaos ensues in many ways. Barbara Mertz was herself an archaeologist and the stories and lore that she shares are great. Grace Conlin narrates and does a competent job. Very dry voice, which suits the humor. And who wouldn't like a male protagonist who looks like he should star in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'? I'm enjoying my summer of 'rereading' - more to come!
A good salary and an all-expenses-paid summer spent at a sprawling Arizona ranch is too good a deal for fledgling anthropologist D.J. Abbott to turn down. What does it matter that her rich new employer/benefactor, Hank Hunnicutt, is a certified oddball who is presently funding all manner of off-beat projects, from alien conspiracy studies to a hunt for dragon bones? There's even talk of treasure buried in the nearby mountains, but D.J. isn't going to allow loose speculation -- or the considerable charms of handsome professional treasure hunter Jesse Franklin -- to sidetrack her. Until Hunnicutt suffers a mysterious accident and then vanishes, leaving the weirdos gathered at his spread to eye each other with frightened suspicion. But on a high desert search for the missing millionaire, D.J. is learning things that may not be healthy for her to know. For the game someone is playing here goes far beyond the rational universe -- and it could leave D.J. legitimately dead.