Author(s): Bett Reece Johnson
The Woman Who Knew Too Much is a stunning debut mystery featuring two unusual female sleuths -- Jet Butler (a.k.a. Anna Lee Stone), a reclusive writer who narrates this tale of murder, water rights, and deadly designer drugs; and Caroline Marcus (a.k.a. Cordelia Morgan), a shadowy international "hit artist" working for a private "contracting" firm called The Company. Set in rural New Mexico, The Woman Who Knew Too Much has a strong feminist bent and lesbian subtext, and tackles issues of environmentalism and corporate corruption, as well as personal integrity and history.
Jet Butler has lived on an isolated mesa for more than 30 years since writing a feminist bestseller back in the '60s -- an infamous book that indirectly caused the deaths of 67 women living in a commune during a botched FBI raid. As the novel opens, Jet is trying to help a friend who's the prime suspect in a local murder investigation. In the course of her investigation, she stumbles across an old man living in the New Mexico outback, a former chemist experimenting with a substance called Plastosterone, a synthetic testosterone being developed as a new designer drug with some particularly nasty side effects.
Enter Cord Morgan. She's the ace "specialist" at The Company, but a few years past the ten-year maximum prescribed for this high-stress line of work. Although she's a genius of disguise and deception, The Company senses the beginning of a crack or two and gives Morgan a little time off, an easy "vacation" assignment in New Mexico -- which, of course, turns out to be anything but.