A one-time innkeeper with a taste for adventure, Elizabeth has been a private pilot, sky diver, SCUBA diver, and liveaboard sailor. Extensive travel in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe led to a second career as a free-lance travel writer, during which she began writing a series of police procedural mysteries set in southeast Minnesota, where she grew up. Her books contrast the sometimes gritty routine of police work with the idyllic rural scenes around a mid-size city in the upper midwest. Featured characters are a hard-working police detective named Jake Hines and his girlfriend, Trudy Hanson, a forensic scientist at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul.
In her new southwest series, Elizabeth follows Sarah Burke, a homicide detective dealing with cutting-edge problems in an ancient setting. The valley that holds Tucson , Arizona , was occupied by native Americans for thousands of years before the Spanish came questing for gold and glory. Folded into the U.S. by the Gadsden Purchase in 1852, this desert city reflects its border heritage, with a polyglot population constantly growing more diverse. Sarah must deal with a colorful mix of twenty-first century adventurers: big-time builders and small-time gamblers, cotton growers and cattle herders, drug-runners and people smugglers, copper miners digging for old-style wealth and bioscientists in search of some new bonanza. Undocumented immigrants scramble up from the south as retiring boomers bring their wealth and optimism down from the north. Naturally, these people don’t all mingle peacefully. Wherever their interests collide, that’s an ideal spot for a crime novelist.