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In Cold Pursuit

Dead Dry

Earth Colors

Killer Dust

Fault Line

An Eye for Gold

A Fall in Denver

Hardback edition 1995, Scribner, New York
Doubleday Mystery Guild Selection
Mass market paperback edition 1996, Signet, New York
Ein Schlechter Tausch (German translation), Piper, Munich

A Fall in Denver coverThe New York Times

"Emily Hansen’s new job would make Kafka feel right at home. Nobody talks to her. Nobody tells her what she’s supposed to do. And every time she turns around, some co-worker goes sailing out the 16th-floor window.

Life was a lot simpler in Sarah Andrews’s first novel, Tensleep, in which Em made her sleuthing debut as a lowly field hand on an oil-drilling rig in Wyoming. But Em has given up the wide-open spaces in A Fall in Denver to take a desk job as a petroleum geologist at the corporate headquarters of the Blackfeet Oil Company. Bad move.

Homesick in Denver ("To be honest, I’m kind of afraid of cities"), Em develops a case of paranoia at the office, where everyone seems to be conspiring to keep her from finding out anything about Lost Coyote Oil Field, the oil field she has been assigned to evaluate. Files disappear. Work logs are misplaced. Her supervisors stonewall her requests for data, and when they find out she’s been snooping around, they take her off the job.

Ms. Andrews, a geologist who knows her rocks, writes in a direct style that takes the humbug out of her scientific explanations for what’s going on at Lost Coyote. The direct approach also pays off with Em Hansen, a clear-thinking, straight-talking heroine whose unabashed naivete is endearing".

Marilyn Stasio

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A slick, satisfying mystery. I defy anyone to guess the culprit’s identity before it’s revealed".

The Library Journal

"A nicely complicated plot . . . an appealing heroine".

The Rocky Mountain News

"A Fall in Denver is further evidence that Andrews has struck a rich vein".

The Vancouver Sun

"A diabolical plot, with lives as worthless as penny stock. Andrews provides fresh writing, self-deprecating wit and a surprise villain".

Cheryl Parker

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

"A complex character with a high tolerance for cognitive dissonance, Em . . . combines a cowgirl’s brand of street smarts with a sense of social finesse. Andrews pulls off her tale without a single discernable cliche, preferring instead to conjure up one-of-a-kind descriptions".

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Geologist/amateur detective Em Hansen, a lowly mudlogger in Tensleep, is struggling up the professional ladder in her second appearance. On her first day at Denver’s Blackfeet Oil, where she’s just been hired as a geologist, a body falls past the 12th-floor office window of CEO Josiah Carberry Menken, who’s only momentarily distracted from the saccharine welcome spiel he’s flinging at Em.

For Em, who’s more comfortable on a horse than at a desk, this is a fitting introduction to corporate culture, which continues to baffle her. She wonders why she’s been assigned to evaluate the pros and cons of drilling a particular field when colleague Pete Tutaraitis is clearly more qualified; and she wonders what drove Gerald Luftweiller to throw himself through some very thick glass on the 16th floor. Then, after awkwardly trying to alert Em to some danger, a co-worker hurtles to his death from the same building.

The author’s scientific explanations make geology come to life; Em’s first-person narrative gives the prose added punch. With this cliche-free plot and memorable supporting players, notably foul-tongued colleague Maddy McNutt; gnomic detective Ortega; and the wily Mencken, Andrews solidly establishes her series".

(Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

The Library Journal

"Emily "Em" Hansen, Tensleep‘s Wyoming oil-rig "mudlogger," goes to work in the main office of Blackfeet Oil in Denver. Strange things begin to happen immediately: at least two men leap to "suicidal" deaths from her high-rise office building; most of Em’s co-workers ignore her; and a particularly successful oil field is shrouded in mystery. Em gathers information, falls for a hunky but secretive senior geologist, and yearns for the tomboy life of Wyoming.

Andrews has honed her narrative skills to concoct a nicely complicated plot with an appealing heroine. Recommended".

(Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


"Em Hansen, former oil-field roustabout, has a new job as a geologist for the prestigious Denver firm of Blackfeet Oil. Scarcely able to believe her good fortune in securing a well-paying job where her talents and education will be put to good use, Em quickly finds things turning sour when she’s given nothing to do, the rest of the staff treats her coldly, and in her first week on the job, two men leap to their death from the sixteenth floor of the Blackfeet Oil building.

The only bright spot in Em’s unsettling life is Pete Tutaraitis, one of the higher-ups at Blackfeet, who seems to be reciprocating Em’s strong attraction to him. Unfortunately, Pete is married—and his wife is an old school friend of Em’s. When Em finds a connection between the two "suicides," some missing oil-field maps, and Pete Tutaraitis, she decides to investigate.

Andrews has written a gripping, original mystery, and Em Hansen is an intelligent, appealing heroine. A fine choice for all collections".

Emily Melton

Midwest Book Review

"’If I had seen the body fall past the window, I wouldn’t have taken the job.’ This opens a second, heady Em Hansen mystery revolving around mystery and murder, which opens with a bang and doesn’t let up. Andrews presents many twists and turns of plot throughout her story, marked by strong characterization and many compelling motivations for murder. A thoroughly satisfying mystery".


"In her second mystery, the cantankerous geologist and sleuth Em Hansen travels from the oil fields of Wyoming to the corporate boardrooms of Blackfeet Oil in Denver, where something deadly is on the rise".

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