Eric Lloyd, a private investigator from Santa Monica, is called in to help investigate the serial murders of two young Indian women near a small rural town in southern California. The caller is none other than Erle Stanley Gardner, America's most famous mystery writer, who is involved because the murders happened so close to his ranch. Together Lloyd and Gardner aid the county sheriff in attempting to solve the baffling murders, which appear to have no motive. Most mysterious of all, the killer seems to be deliberately drawing attention to the memory of a long-dead pioneer of the area, whose grave is connected to a curse well-known to the local inhabitants. To solve crimes committed in 1954, Gardner and Lloyd find they must understand a crime committed in 1875 -- a crime which victimized the local Indian tribe, and in which the pioneer was involved.
Set on the actual ranch of Erle Stanley Gardner, Wolf Valley is a delightful and provocative period murder mystery which will appeal to mystery fans everywhere. A masterpiece of accurate historical research combined with colorful fiction, it offers a fascinating view of the great mystery writer and his lifestyle, set in the actual surroundings where he lived for more than thirty years. It also reveals an astonishing and previously unknown connection between Gardner and one of the most famous works in American literature, the classic 1884 novel Ramona.