mud blood
A criminal lawyer, FULTON YEE, disappears, and the search for him is no place for a lady, but unconventional mystery writer VERA MOONACHIE has to find him, because he is churning his files of nasty crimes for her plot and he has the solution to her current mystery.

From the moment she starts her search, Vera is confronted with a hornets nest of fragile egos, including Fulton's trio of feuding ex-lovers. We meet Nancy Branscomb, an editor Fulton met years before when he visited her family's cabin in the Sacramento Delta. We meet Florence Loring, a real estate agent with a past so colorful that she met Fulton when he was defending her in court. And we meet Emma Sawtooth, a haystack-shaped earth mother who runs a writer's group. Vera encounters an authorship dispute based on a notebook. And when Vera picks up that notebook, she picks up the deadliest kind of enemies--people with something to hide.

Looking for a solution to this seemingly pointless disappearance, Vera embarks on a harrowing journey to the storied Sacramento Delta, a place which seems caught in a time warp. She discovers an old land contract with the resident Chinese community, which is in the way of a major land development. And events take a weird turn on the mud bottom of a Delta slough.

And then someone tries to kill Vera. Old agreements can be murder.
Read a Review:

A galloping good read filled with the savvy street smarts of this quirky and unpredictable heroine.

American Rig Radio

Being inside the heroine's head makes Mud Blood an unusual kaleidoscope of characters, scenes and dialogue. You know it's "just a novel,' but you have this weird sense of deja vu' as well. Read it, read it, read it. Del Monte's books always take on a life of their own, and you'll find yourself running into people who look like one of her characters or hearing bits of the same dialogue you just read last night.
Terri Jenkins-Brady, Editor/Author

Masterfully written! I kept returning to the book cover to make sure it read 'novel.' Joan's rich unmistakable literary voice leaps from every character, every scene, and every page. You will swear you know these people. And what a heroine!
Gene Cartwright, Author,