Touch of the Bone by Baxter Clare Trautman


After a lifetime spent steeped in death L.A. Franco has retired from the LAPD and has plunged head first into living—but separating her two worlds isn’t as easy as she hoped.


Following the death of “Sal” Saladino, a recluse and mentor with uncanny healing abilities, Frank is busy sloughing off her old identity as a cop and reluctantly growing into the new skin of a healer. She doesn’t understand her newfound abilities, but the patients she sees believe in them.

When a ranch hand brings her an old journal of Sal’s, Frank’s world begins to shift uncomfortably. The pages of the journal describe an injustice Sal was too cowardly to confront. And as Frank begins to work her way through the pages, her cop instincts kick in—but she’s done with that phase of her life and isn’t willing to return. However, when one of her new patients comes to her with mysterious neck pain, she begins to suspect the ailment might be related to the murder Sal has alluded to.

As Frank slowly learns to trust her newfound abilities—and her new lover—she begins to unravel the murder in the journal. When she suspects who the murderer is, Frank must choose whether she will confront them and the injustice in her old role as a cop or let bygones be bygones and continue on her new path as a healer.

Baxter Clare Trautman earned a master’s degree in biology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and promptly turned her hand to writing. A practicing wildlife biologist, she lives in central California with her wife, dogs, cats, and chickens. Trautman is best known for her Lambda Literary nominated mystery series featuring homicide detective L.A. Franco. Her works occur in rough places—South Central L.A., California’s Big Sur mountains, and the trampled terrain of the human heart.

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