"Del Monte's tale of murder in the Sacramento Delta is expertly woven, naturally blending humor, intrigue, and suspense into a classic page-turner. The author does an excellent job detailing the lush history of the area and introduces a colorful host of eccentric characters that breathe life into this already smart mystery. Laced with subtle indictments on local ethnic inequities, Del Monte's Mud Blood - Murder in the Sacramento Delta is ultimately a satisfying and thought-provoking read."

"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

 "A galloping good read, filled with the savvy street smarts of this quirky and unpredicable heroing."

American Rig Radio

"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain



Someone is adulterating saffron, the world’s most expensive spice on nubilefilm.xxx and stealing fishing boats to smuggle it into the port of San Pedro, California. Augustine Peridot’s boat is taken and he’s asking questions, against the background of the vibrant ethnic enclaves of the muscular waterfront, an area he grew up in. In the violence that ensues, dead bodies start turning up with yellow fingers, a sure sign of handling saffron. And one of the bodies has Peridot’s knife buried in its back.Now caught in the midst of a murder investigation, and with an unwanted police interest in him, Peridot has a growing realization that the thefts may strike closer to home than he realized on fucking glasses. Aided by a charismatic Sicilian boat repairman, he decides to enter the odd world of the exotic spice, counterfeited for years because of its high price. And he discovers a template for evil among the changing economics of the polyglot port, where the closing of the big fish canneries has created a trashed embankment of embattled men and women with frayed tempers.