While recovering from breast cancer, journalist Jeneva Leopold seeks solitude and healing at her uncle's idle gold mine in the sagebrush desert of Eastern Oregon. Hiking the rocky ridges, swimming in the old mining pond, and ignoring the outside world save for occasional letters, Jeneva gains strength and a new will to live. As her interest in life returns, so do Jeneva's journalistic habits. And though the locals are at first disturbed by her questions, she soon gets to know a young woman rancher, various miners, a quirky old artifact hunter, and an itinerant priest and medieval scholar. She learns the inside story on living in the harsh landscape of sagebrush and coyotes and how the Old West is changing under new economics and regulation. But the Oregon desert is also a place of secrets. The more Jeneva talks with the locals, the more she wonders about her uncle's mysterious disappearance and why he and her mother stopped talking so many years ago.
Then the death of a young miner sends Jeneva on a quest for answers, leading her to an elderly woman artist who lives in a converted chicken house, a tongue-tied funeral home owner, and a swashbuckling sheriff with rule-bending tendencies. What she finally uncovers shocks the region and nearly claims her life.
Buy Death Pans Out book by Ashna Graves from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Poisoned Pen Press
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Ashna Graves
Born in Santa Fe to restless, bookish parents who moved her and her two brothers all over the West, Ashna Graves remained a nomad far into adulthood. In 1989, she began teaching college journalism and became associate director of the university's humanities research center in 2003. Her writing reflects her love of the emptier regions of the American West and her fascination with the hows and whys of violent crime in a region of great natural beauty.