Fifteen-year-old Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. It seems to her that, in a world run by men, coming of age is more of a curse than a blessing. Elsa feels powerless when her father enters the tuberculosis sanitarium and she’s forced to live on her grandparents’ farm. When she stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn, it’s a welcome diversion as hiding him becomes an intoxicating secret. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor, Lavinia Twigg, joins the police investigation and Elsa’s caught between silence and disclosure, trust and doubt, risk and fear.
“Nineteen thirties rural New Brunswick shines in this multi-layered, coming-of-age murder mystery. The lives of women, and the expectations surrounding them, are portrayed with insight and sympathy. I hope we hear from Elsa Byrd and Lavinia Twigg again—they make a first-rate detective team.” —Laurie Glenn Norris, author, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery
“Murder mystery enthusiasts will be completely satiated. Leveille has brilliantly concocted scenarios
where several individuals make plausible suspects.”—Michelle Brunet, Arts East
Kathy-Diane Leveille is the author of the novel Let the Shadows Fall Behind You and the short story collection Roads Unravelling. Her prose has been published in a number of literary journals, including the Cormorant, Grain, the Oklahoma Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and Room of One’s Own, as well as various anthologies such as New Brunswick Short Stories and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. Her fiction won the Short Grain Contest for dramatic monologue in 2000 and was listed as a finalist in the Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Contest in 2002. She lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.