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The Cactus Plot
The Cactus Plot

The Cactus Plot

Murder in the High Desert


262 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $21.95)

Publication Date: November 2019

ISBN 9781932926835

Rights: WOR

Artemesia Publishing, LLC (Nov 2019)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: November 2019


Murders overshadow botanist Millie Whitehall's peaceful summer surveying endangered plants in northwest New Mexico. Hired by the Bureau of Land Management and new to the west, Millie seeks adventure, never expecting to become involved in a chaotic hunt for a ruthless killer. Driving treacherous roads and avoiding rattlesnakes become the least of her worries. She experiences the friction of working for the BLM through the characters she meets—a secretive cowboy, friendly oil and gas hand, out-spoken environmentalist, foreign tourist, and a cheeky Navajo biologist. Some of these become allies, one ends up threatening her life. When autopsies reveal the seemingly unrelated deaths involve plants, Millie draws on her knowledge of ecology as she races to investigate the murderer—before she becomes the next victim.


"This book could be the seed of a new series of mysteries set in our beautiful Southwest." —Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author of the "Chee-Leaphorn-Manuelito" series.

"Vicky Ramakka's page-turner, The Cactus Plot does an excellent job at capturing the sense of place and people of Northwestern New Mexico." —Jonathan Thompson, environmental journalist and author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster

"Vicky is very descriptive in her mention of Navajo places and events, such as the Shiprock Flea Market. You can just imagine the colorful items, the smells in the air and hear the children wandering among shoppers." —Elaine Benally, Director, San Juan College West

Author Biography

Vicky Ramakka grew up on a farm in upstate New York which sparked an early interest in plants and animals. She has spent most of her career in higher education in the western US while her husband worked as a wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management. During her career, she published in academic journals, wrote numerous grant applications and reports and a variety of marketing materials. She now she writes about the Four Corners region, where she claims she meets the most fascinating people, who are always willing to share their stories. Her publications have won awards from the New Mexico Press Women. She currently lives in northwest New Mexico with her husband, where Vicky writes and enjoys photographing the flora and fauna that reside in her "back yard" which she considers any place within a mile walk.