Elaine Pinkerton lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is the author of seven books, including fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. She began life as an orphan. Adopted at age five by a college professor and his wife, she grew up in the East and graduated from the University of Virginia. A writer since age ten, she has freelanced, taught school and worked as a children’s librarian. Twenty years after her first book, Santa Fe on Foot, she found her true theme, adoption. The Goodbye Baby-Adoptee Diaries appeared in 2005. All the Wrong Places features adult adoptee Clara Jordan, a character searching for where she belongs.
Adoptee Clara moves from the east coast to Red Mesa, New Mexico, and begins a teaching year at the American Indian Academy. Shortly after the start of a new semester, headmaster Joseph Speckled Rock is found dead on Clara’s classroom floor. Both teacher and students are shocked.
Clara deals with her students’ grief and her own frustration by daily running in the rough hills surrounding the academy. Carnell Dorame, a talented student and Clara’s favorite, uses the Internet to trace the identity of her birthmother. The school’s computer teacher Henry DiMarco invites Clara out for a date and they end up falling in love. Henry, however, is not what he seems. His real business is smuggling pottery, an enterprise that is tied in with the death of Speckled Rock.
When Clara begins to suspect Henry’s dual nature, he decides that she is in the way and breaks up with her. She runs to a remote arroyo and underground cave studying petroglyphs that might lead to her birthmother’s identity. But it seems she is not alone…
Will adoptee Clara Jordan be able learn about her family tree or will she die trying?