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From “the reigning royalty of Minnesota murder mysteries” (The Rake) comes a striking new heroine: a young Irish immigrant caught up in a deadly plot in nineteenth-century Deadwood
When I was fifteen and my brother Seamus sixteen, we attended our own wake. Our family was in mourning, forced to send us off to America.
The year is 1880, and of all the places Brigid Reardon and her brother might have dreamed of when escaping Ireland’s potato famine by moving to America, Deadwood, South Dakota, was not one of them. But Deadwood, in the grip of gold fever, is where Seamus lands and where Brigid joins him after eluding the unwanted attentions of the son of her rich employer in St. Paul—or so she hopes. But the morning after her arrival, a grisly tragedy occurs; Seamus, suspected of the crime, flees, and Brigid is left to clear his name and to manage his mining claim, which suddenly looks more valuable and complicated than he and his partners supposed.
Mary Logue, author of the popular Claire Watkins mysteries, brings her signature brio and nerve to this story of a young Irish woman turned reluctant sleuth as she tries to make her way in a strange and often dangerous new world. From the famine-stricken city of Galway to the bustling New York harbor, to the mansions of Summit Avenue in St. Paul, and finally to the raucous hustle of boomtown Deadwood, Logue’s new thriller conjures the romance and the perils, and the tricky everyday realities, of a young immigrant surviving by her wits and grace in nineteenth-century America.
One summer evening, while her sister Bridget takes care of Meg, Claire and Rich Haggard, a local pheasant farmer she's been dating for three months, attend a street dance in nearby Little Rock. Just as the fun gets under way, screams for help stop the music and put romance on hold. Someone has stabbed well-liked farmer Jed Spitzler in the chest. Members of the close-knit St. Antoine community join Jed's children in searching for Jed's killer.
Long-hidden town secrets are revealed as Claire seeks the truth and continues to struggle with her own demons.
When Landers Anderson--an elderly neighbor who befriended Claire and Meg--dies of a heart attack after being sideswiped with a shovel, Claire determines to find the culprit. This involves delving into Landers's family history and investigating the machinations of a right-wing group, Homeowners of America, that is buying up property to build an environmentally unsound development.
At the same time, Meg fearfully admits to Claire that she saw the man who killed Steve. Claire contacts her former partner, Det. Bruce Jacobs, and prods him into accelerating the investigation into Steve's death.
Stephanie, however, won't talk, even when her new boyfriend, Buck, is tied into his car, driven out on the treacherous ice of Lake Pepin and left there to sink and drown.
When Stephanie, accompanied by Buck's delightful dog, Snooper, tries to leave town, she is once again beaten; this time, she barely survives . . .
In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny–like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem.
One is Daniel Reiner, a wealthy part-time resident who’s been buying up too much land–at least as far as the locals are concerned. Another is gambling addict and aging gold digger Patty Jo Tilde, who recently married a widower twenty years her senior. Patty is itching to inherit her husband’s property, sell it to Reiner, and leave the countryside behind. The only stumbling block–her husband must die.
Add to the mix a suspicious goat-herding daughter-in-law and a wounded elk, and things quickly reach a boiling point. As Claire Watkins delves deeper into the mystery, she believes she’s uncovered a deadly history of lies, deceit, arson, and poison. Her problem is to prove it–and then she learns what happened to Patty Jo’s last husband. . . .
Evoking the strong community values and the natural beauty of the Mississippi River Valley, this new Claire Watkins novel is Logue’s most exciting yet. Poison Heart is a riveting tale of those who live off the land–and those who end up six feet under it.
Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins has had an easy summer in Fort St. Antoine, Wisconsin; the only problem is that her daughter Meg is leaving for college soon. When Claire walks down to the park to watch the Burning Boat--a large replica of a Norwegian longboat set on the shores of Lake Pepin, burned at the autumnal equinox--she has no idea that more than just a wooden structure is going up in flames.
The next day, the bones of a young woman are found in the ashes. When Claire learns that the new deputy she has hired, a vet returning from Afghanistan, was the young woman's former boyfriend, and that he is now dating her daughter Meg, she is desperate to find out who is responsible for the death.
In order to get to the heart of this mystery, Claire must understand what happened in an attack in the mountains of Afghanistan, which left one man wounded, one man killed, and one man disturbed. Could one of those two remaining men be the killer?
The unsolved murders at a remote Wisconsin farmhouse half a century ago have receded into time. But one deranged man will do anything to make sure that all of Pepin County remembers that bloody day.
The world was out of balance. It had been so for nearly fifty years. Only he could see it. Only he could change it.
When a quantity of dangerous pesticides is stolen from the local co-op, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is called in to investigate. The thief has left one bizarre clue: the finger bone of a child long dead.
The pesticides soon reappear with devastating effect—in flowerbeds, in animal feed, and in a fatal concoction at a Fourth of July picnic. Each time, a tiny human bone is left at the scene. With the help of Harold Peabody, the quirky, aging editor of the Durand Daily, Claire unravels the secrets of the past, leading her to a pair of young lovers, a man enraged over his mother’s death, an obsessive recluse, and the deputy who first discovered the corpses of the Schuler family Claire desperately races against time to find the madman before he uses the lethal pesticide again. But he won’t be stopped. Not until he gets what he wants.
The truth must be told. Or more will die. The flowers and the birds were only the beginning. . . .
Written with Mary Logue’s trademark power and compassion, Bone Harvest is a bold, brilliant thriller that carries the reader deep into the heart of the Wisconsin bluffs country, into the hearts of its people—and to a startling conclusion.