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The Land of Enchantment: Mystery Books Set in New Mexico 

Let the mystery “grow as it goes.” 

bright orange sunset over new mexico mountains and trees
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  • Photo Credit: Maddy Baker / Unsplash

With the Rocky Mountain peaks studding the North and stunning desert landscapes cut through with the Rio Grande, there’s a good reason New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. It’s wild and wondrous, filled with ancient history and immeasurable beauty. 

But the wilds can be harsh and there’s something about the isolation that whispers danger and promises to keep your secrets.

We dug up ten mystery books set in New Mexico that will sweep you into this vast landscape while keeping you on the edge of your seat. 

Rainbow's End

Rainbow's End

By Martha Grimes

When a woman’s body is found in ancient Roman ruins, her death is at first considered an accident. But then a second dies of a heart attack in the Tate Gallery, and another is found dead at Exeter Cathedral. 

The trio of deaths are more than a little alarming, so when Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury investigates, he’s not surprised to find all three women are linked. Going to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they all visited before their deaths, he finds himself unraveling a web of jealousy that ends in murder. 

Zia Summer

Zia Summer

By Rudolfo Anaya

Sonny Baca hopes he inherited even a fraction of the courage and grit his legendary lawman and gunfighter grandfather possessed. But Sonny isn’t hunting down desperado. He’s tracking missing persons and degenerate husbands.

Until his cousin is killed and is found with the zia sun sign carved into her stomach. Only, she wasn’t the first. And Sonny doesn’t think she’ll be the last. 

His investigation takes him across New Mexico to an environmental compound in the mountains where he finds his past is connected to a very real present evil. And if he can’t stop what they’re planning, all of New Mexico might suffer the consequences. 



By Steven F. Havill

When a car full of teens tries to outrun Deputy Torrez, they accidentally hit a rocky outcrop and end up airborne. All five kids are killed and officers find a large stash of cocaine under one of the seats. Was this part of a bigger crime? Or were the kids just looking to party? 

But when an explosion rocks the small New Mexico town, the Sheriff knows he has to prove he has what it takes to find a killer. The first in the Bill Gastner mystery series introduces readers to a scenic New Mexico filled with wonder and mystery. 

The Easter Egg Murder

The Easter Egg Murder

By Patricia Smith Wood

When a US Senator starts writing a book about a fifty-year-old unsolved murder, editors Harrie McKinsey and Ginger Vaughn know it’s going to cause a stir.

Especially because the ruthless murders ended illegal casinos in New Mexico. But from the second they announce the book, witnesses close to the case start dying. 

Now, Harrie and Ginger aren’t just editing a story, but trying to find the truth. And they have to move fast. Because someone is determined to make sure everyone attached to the case stays silent forever.  

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras

By J. Michael Orenduff

When Hubert Schuze is offered $25,000 to steal a 30,000 year old pot from the Valle del Rio Museum, he knows he shouldn’t say yes. He usually just digs the artifacts up. Illegal yes, but not as bad as robbery. But the money is too tempting. 

Hubert figures there’s nothing wrong with visiting the museum to see how hard it would be. Except, when he decides it’s impossible, he’s accused of theft anyway. And he’s charged with murder. Desperate to clear his name, he has to solve the crime—by actually committing it. 

Sister Eve, Private Eye

Sister Eve, Private Eye

By Lynne Hinton

Sister Evangeline Divine has spent the last twenty years at a New Mexico monastery when she receives a message from her police captain father. He needs her to come home and help him recover from surgery—and solve his latest case.

A missing Hollywood director turns up dead and the starlet he was with isn’t talking. But the more she investigates, the more of a conflict Sister Divine feels.

How can she follow her heart as a Sister when solving crime runs in her blood?

Santa Fe Noir

Santa Fe Noir

By Ariel Gore

You think you know Santa Fe?

Most stories are told by tourists and visitors. People who see the surface beauty and don’t dig through the vast underlayers to the heart of this Southwestern city.

These stories are told by the locals and the Native peoples who live yhere. People who have their own stories to tell. Stories you might not recognize. Stories you may not want to hear.  

On a Dark Deadly Highway

On a Dark Deadly Highway

By Amy M Bennett

After being missing for weeks, RaeLynn Shaffer is found beaten, bloody, and drugged on the highway near Black Horse Campground. But the more authorities look into her disappearance and reappearance, the clearer it becomes that RaeLynn was never meant to be found alive. 

Despite being unable to identify her kidnappers, Bonney Police Detective J.D. Wilder and Bonney Country Sheriff Rick Sutton scour New Mexico to try and find her assailants.

But time is running out. As they scramble to find clues, the men responsible make it clear they’ll do anything to silence RaeLynn—ncluding murdering anyone helping her discover the truth. 

Last Wolf at Eagle Well

Last Wolf at Eagle Well

By Robert C. Mowry

When a Federal Bureau of Land Management agent is killed in remote New Mexico, it’s a natural case for rookie FBI agent Rusty Redtail. He grew up in the Muscalero Tribe and knows the wilds of the state. Death is common in the desert. 

And in this area, many unsolved murders trace back to the long-dead Wolf family, with a history tied to the legendary Eagle Well, where buried gold and damning information are rumored to be buried. And someone is still protecting its secrets.

If Rusty can’t figure out the clues of the past, he may find he doesn’t have a future. 

The Blessing Way

The Blessing Way

By Tony Hillerman

Death isn’t a stranger to the harsh landscape of New Mexico. But when a body is abandoned with a mouth full of sand, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn can’t help but suspect a supernatural killer.

The crime scene was too neat, too clean, too devoid of tracks. And there’s a presence in the air. The unmistakable feeling of evil. 

To find the killer, he has no choice but to follow the trail deep into dangerous lands, where even the bravest won’t go, as he faces both mysticism and murder. 

Featured image: Maddy Baker / Unsplash