Rebecca’s hand shook as she reached for the box. It was a metal candy tin for peppermint bark. Maybe Grandpa had a sweet tooth? Or was this some random trash left by a tourist too lazy to bring it back to his car? She straightened and gazed down at the box. It had to hold the next clue. It would be too much of a coincidence – and too heartbreaking – if it were anything else.
She glanced at Sam and he nodded in encouragement, drawing close to her side. She swung open the lid. Several folded pieces of paper lay inside. A strip of masking tape on the inside lid had words in marker: “Take one and leave the others unless you are the last.”
Rebecca pulled out the top piece of paper and unfolded it.
Are they witches in disguise
Or prophets of the future?
The men who came here didn’t know.
They had destruction on their minds.
And they changed the world.
They ate of the flesh among bombers and bullets.
And so should you!
Then past the dead soldiers you’ll find a dead end.
One is the loneliest number
Walled off from its fellows.
Pay your respects and do not forget.
Another baffling poem. Rebecca wrinkled her nose. “This one’s kind of gruesome.” She closed the box and stood.
For a moment, the world spun. She took a quick breath.
Sam’s arm came around her. “Okay?”
Two more deep breaths and she could answer. “Fine now, thanks. Just a little lightheaded.” She was tempted to lean into him, to relax against his shoulder. She resisted the urge. “I know, I know, drink water. Let me put this back.”
She returned the box to its hiding place, picked up the bottle she’d set down while looking at the clue, and finished the water. Sam hovered closely, as if to support her if she needed help. She couldn’t quite decide if she wished she needed help or was glad she didn’t. She wouldn’t fake helplessness, though, and the weakness had passed.
She gave Sam a bright smile. “All better now. I just stood up too fast.”
He studied her intently. She hadn’t realized how green his eyes were, or how the tiny laugh lines around them made him both sexy and approachable. Her heart thudded in her chest. You keep looking at me like that, and I won’t be fine.
The Dead Man’s Treasure
Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.
Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.
Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico. See the DMT page of Kris Bock’s website for a printable list of the clues and recipes from the book.
The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first of the Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. The Dead Man’s Treasure is book 2 and The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is book 3. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This series mixes action and adventure with sweet romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.
Publishers Weekly BookLife says, “… it’s all good, suspenseful fun as Rebecca and Sam traipse the New Mexico desert, deciphering clues and trying to outwit Rebecca’s half siblings.”
Reviewer Amy Brantley says, "Okay, first of all, I love that the author makes this book interactive – if the reader wants it to be. You can go online and download a printable copy of the treasure map and try to decipher the clues yourself. I found that it be a fun addition to the book, plus you'll also get awesome Southwestern recipes. … The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly recommend this one."
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.
The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle.