We have never been to the American Southwest, so we can’t vouch for the accuracy of Becky Masterson’s scenery in her debut crime novel Rage Against the Dying. But we have been to middle age. Possibly even through it. So we can tell our blog faithful that Ms Masterson, whose heroine is an early retired FBI agent married to a widowed Jesuit that the portraits of late middle age are pretty much on the money. This is a book that will be wasted on the young who probably won’t pick it up anyway. But it’s what we grabbed on a weekend shortened by – appropriately – Grandparents Day at the Library, and, as it turned out, we grabbed well. As with any first crime novel there’s rather more meat than the bones can handle (way too many serial crime murders), but Masterson will get over it. And we have to say that she makes Arizona, where we’ve never had the slightest urge to go, seem a little more like a place to go. Not just the home of that megalomaniac sheriff who’s far too often in the news.