Now on Shelves 

A new book from J.A. Jance, a cookbook full of great dishes from Ryan Clark and more

Moving Target

By J.A. Jance


340 pages; $29.99; mystery

So, a lot's happened since Tucson and Seattle resident J. A. Jance published her first mystery 30 years ago. CSI, for example. Facial recognition. The Internet. We're not in Bisbee anymore, Joanna. To Jance's credit, Moving Target, her 50th novel, ventures well into the world of contemporary technology. That, and into around-the-world, around-the-clock settings.

Former reporter Ali Reynolds flies from Arizona to England to buy a wedding dress. Since her fiancé, B., the owner of a high-tech security company in Sedona, can afford it, she takes along her faithful British "aide-de-camp" Leland, who hasn't been home since he fled it under a cloud decades before. While Ali is gone (and B. is in Japan), B. becomes embroiled in investigating unexplained burns inflicted on a brilliant young computer hacker in jail in Texas. When a representative of a computer software company unexpectedly offers the hacker's family a large sum of money, B. realizes the boy might have something valuable that needs protection.

Meanwhile, Ali and Leland navigate the minefield of his British relatives and uncover a mystery of their own. When the kid and his family are suddenly in danger, Ali and B. need to galvanize forces internationally, virtually and ecclesiastically (imagine one Taser-wielding nun), and step in. Lots of action, and the book is fast-paced and technology-savvy.

Milk and Filth

By Carmen Giménez Smith

The University of Arizona Press

80 pages; $15.95; poetry

This remarkable collection of earthy, erudite, witty and outraged political and personal poems concerns women, and bodies, and art. The volume, the work of Carmen Giménez Smith, a New Mexico State University assistant professor and the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol, has been named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's annual poetry award. At heart, it's a feminist's voice interrogating feminism (early: "In college I was groomed to overthrow patriarchy by the capri-panted rebel who introduced me to Our Bodies, Our Selves ..."), and current and evolving. She writes about herself and identity ("My mouths don't speak the same language"). She combines myth with comedy—Phaedra and Joan Rivers; classical with pop—Flaubert and Facebook. She inhabits Malinché, La Llorona, and the Virgin Mary ("You'd like to downgrade/ into human. Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis/ and not even a marble estuary for the ages").

Giménez Smith's abstract poems are vivid, often surprising ("Make me an outfit with mutable bloom,/ an envy magnet. Make/ me a fabric that changes/ the subject"). Her personal story seems concrete and physical: "I'm a feminist for all the bodies strewn over history and semi-/emerging from the earth." "I liked my poetry to smell like I had forgotten my deodorant."

The most pervasive images of the collection are elemental—of soil, blood, the natural world. Some reflect the earth-body performance art of the 1970s and '80s by Cuban-American Ana Mendieta. Giménez Smith is able to evoke and elevate with words what Mendieta created with performance. ("She took her sex and put it everywhere. She bruised the earth with slits.")

Modern Southwest Cooking: Seriously Delicious Inventions

By Ryan Clark

Rio Nuevo Publishers

152 pages; $16.95; cookbook

Grilled artichokes with poblano-truffle aioli. Chicken meatballs in mole. Prickly pear mojito. Mussels with nopales. Habanero crème brûlée.

Sigh ... Cordon Bleu-corn cuisine.

In Modern Southwest Cooking, local chef Ryan Clark and local publisher Rio Nuevo have put together a collection of dieter's-resolve-busting recipes featuring ingredients of the Southwest—chiles of all kinds, cactus, heritage vegetables, native meat, poultry (and rattlesnake); seafood from the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. Clark's training is French, but his approach is casual and accessible. He advises on buying locally and sustainably. The book's photos are beautiful and directions are clear. If some of the recipes are more complex than a once-a-week cook can manage, you can go for the simpler ones. I tried the spice-rubbed pork loin with yam and ginger-jalapeño pavé. That, and a few Mexican chocolate chunk cookies: Seriously delicious.

More by Christine Wald-Hopkins

  • Now on Shelves

    Working class lives in 1970s New Mexico, a look at Navajo culture, football and war
    • Sep 11, 2014
  • Now on Shelves

    A history of the Mexican Revolution, a Las Vegas mystery, and movies filmed in Arizona
    • Jul 10, 2014
  • Now on Shelves

    The Deportation of Wopper Barraza and more
    • Jun 19, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Checkpoint Trauma

    Tucson journalist Todd Miller's new book Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration and Homeland Security examines the lines between extreme weather and border movement
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • A Grand Experiment

    Book excerpt
    • Mar 8, 2018

The Range

UA Researchers Say Irony is the New Black

Charlie Needs a Home and a Yard

Look What We Got in the Mail Today!

More »

Latest in Book Feature

  • Life of Kings

    Former Tucson Citizen publisher Don Hatfield writes a memoir of his days as a newspaperman
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • Loose Threads

    An excerpt from Tucson author Adrienne Celt’s new novel, Invitation to the Bonfire
    • Jun 7, 2018
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Rain Roulette

    Raices counts the ways that the monsoon can break your heart
    • Aug 2, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation