Cover painting by Billy Schenck
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“From California in the sixties to cryptic petroglyphs in snowy Navajoland today, this art mystery finds Santa Fe gallery owner Bloom drawn into a deadly web involving a Bay Area police detective, Southern California jingle composer, conniving murderer, and Indian artists.” — Wolf Schneider, contributing editor, abqARTS
“Medical doctor, art dealer and now author, Mark Sublette, delivers his best Charles Bloom murder mystery yet. Rare petroglyphs, music and art all collide on the Navajo reservation creating a page turner you’re not likely to forget.” — Mark Winter, author of The Master Weavers and owner of the Historic Toadlena Trading Post
“Mark Sublette has managed to capture the spirit of not just the Southwest but also the fascinating art market that he knows so well. Only someone with his depth of experience is capable of blending these two worlds in such an accurate yet absorbing way!” — Joshua Rose, editor of Western Art Collector
In the third book in the Charles Bloom Murder Mystery series…
For a thousand years a hidden canyon on Rachael Yellowhorse’s ancestral lands and the adjacent property owned by the Manygoats family has protected a masterpiece of petroglyphs deep inside the Navajo nation. These ancient works of art hold a secret with a power so strong their Anasazi makers kept them out of the reach of mere mortal human beings.
At his Santa Fe Indian Market show, gallery owner Charles Bloom unwittingly promotes the sacred rock-art images and sets in motion a cascading series of events that leads to the worst kind of human being searching out these hidden petroglyphs. Little could Bloom know that his discerning eye for art would connect him to a chain of murders stretching back 40 years earlier and to an individual who is not a collector of Native art but a psychopathic killer, the likes of which the Diné have no word to describe. Bloom will need all his observational skills to spot the killer before it’s too late. It’s a race against ancient history and for Bloom, time may finally run out.
A conversation with Mark Sublette, author of Hidden Canyon: A Charles Bloom Murder Mystery:
Q: There are quite a bit of medical details in this book, I’m assuming you drew on your medical background?
A: When I was in the Navy I worked as a doctor in a busy emergency room and managed numerous injuries of varying severity. Nothing like standing in pools of blood to help future writings for a good murder mystery. You see many bizarre ailments, which confirm that almost anything can be a cause of trauma, even a pencil.
Q: You have a whole section that was set around the Navy, I take it this is also from past experience.
A: Yes, I worked at the Weapons depot at Seal Beach, which was a fascinating place. It was the inspiration for Fallon Scriber’s training. Occasionally I had to go to the brig at Long Beach to see a prisoner; this was a memorable place, one I would never want to end up in.
Q: Your forensic psychologist seems very real. Who was your inspiration or was it strictly fiction?
A: In college I took a class in forensic pathology, which I found fascinating and I considered going into this field as a profession. I liked the discipline as it required puzzle solving skills. I also have client, a forensic psychologist, who was very helpful explaining the fine details of a psychopathic personality. Maybe the character of Sam Hubbard represents an alter ego who took the path I was considering for my lifework, but he’s fictional.
Q: Your book’s story revolves around an early petroglyph site on the Navajo reservation, is this real, is there an image as you describe in the book like Fallon Man?
A: There is a remote site, which very few have visited that did give me the inspiration. I have included some photographs from this place, but like the books title, it will stay hidden. There was no Fallon Man petroglyph but there were some amazing and powerful images that made up the site and provided great fodder for writing.
Q: When can we expect the next Charles Bloom book and can you share what it might be about?
A: The fourth book is titled “Stone Men.” It’s about the turquoise trade and fake Indian jewelry. A real problem in the Native American art trade. It should be released in late 2014.