Advance Praise

“Part romance, part mystery, The Marsh Queen unwinds its entangled story lines with measured grace. Virginia Hartman shares with her bird artist narrator a keen eye and a precise touch, as well as a wry understanding of the way the natural world comforts and sustains. This is a marvelous debut, witty and wise.”
—Alice McDermott

“Steeped in the lush rhythms and murky shadows of the Florida Wetlands, Virginia Hartman’s The Marsh Queen is at once a gripping mystery, a devastating family drama, a romance, and a tribute to the natural world. Loni Murrow is a character who will stay with me for a long time. An astonishing debut.”
—Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept

“A unique blend of literature and mystery, with deft evocations of Florida’s flora and sometimes malignant fauna, The Marsh Queen finds a compelling Southern-noir niche all its own and marks Virginia Hartman as a writer to watch.”
—Louis Bayard, author of Courting Mr. Lincoln, Lucky Strikes, and The Pale Blue Eye

“Harrowing…. In The Marsh Queen there are stories within stories, there are stunning family secrets, there’s an almost gothic séance atmosphere—all beautifully orchestrated. But at heart this novel is a kind of mythic journey; a daughter’s search for truth, love, and redemption.”
—Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder and The Bird Artist

“The setting is distinctive, Loni is like a girl-detective grown up, and it crackles with trouble and action.”
—Ellen Prentiss Campbell, author of Frieda’s Song

“Subtle and complex, The Marsh Queen navigates the currents and backwaters of family relationships, the Florida swamplands, and a mysterious death. Like Barbara Kingsolver, Hartman delves into the natural world to explore connections between her characters. Fans of Delia Owens and Lauren Groff will find this a wonderful and absorbing read.”
—Suzanne Feldman, author of Sisters of the Great War and Absalom’s Daughters