There really is a Willa Cather renaissance underway. Now entering the field is the very first mystery novel featuring Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis as sleuths.
I must admit that I’ve had a few mystery plots featuring Cather bouncing around inside my brain-housing-group, but Sue Hallgarth beat me to it.
Hallgarth’s first Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery, On The Rocks, is set to be released on January 15, 2013.
On the Rocks is the first title of a smart new literary mystery series by Corrales, New Mexico author Sue Hallgarth. The year is 1929 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove. Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below…. Solving the mystery, first-time novelist Sue Hallgarth’s intimate view of village politics and the goings-on of two women’s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel. Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American novelist and her talented life partner.
I found out about the book through a review from Publisher’s Weekly. The bad news is PW’s review isn’t very glowing, but the good news I’ve not always agreed with their assessment of a novel. And the best news is that On The Rocks might help curb the post-Willa-Cather-Novel-Reading-Challenge-blues that some of us are bound to feel come January. Then in April we’ll have The Selected Letters of Willa Cather to look forward to. Of course, Cather also wrote a bunch of short stories….
For now, visit the publisher’s website to read an excerpt from On The Rocks. There’s also a blurb up about book two in the series, Death Comes.
On The Rocks
$15.95 trade paper (262p)
Release date on author’s website is January 15, 2013