2012 Nov to 2013 Jan 101

 THE MARSH QUEEN

(Coming May 2022 from Simon & Schuster/Gallery Press)

Loni Murrow wants more than anything to escape the past, and maybe she could if her father’s death hadn’t left a giant hole in her life. It’s better not to think about it. After all, it all happened so long ago. She’s a bird artist—one of the best at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and she likes her studio there with its orderly paints and inks and pen nibs, where she can lose herself in a drawing. If it weren’t for the memories, she might enjoy visiting the Florida swamp where her dad first taught her to love the birds. As it is, she has to go back there to help her mom, who can keep up an herb garden, but can’t take care of herself. But who are all these characters in her home town who keep dropping hints about her father? And why does it feel like trouble is brewing? The swamp’s rich natural life is matched only by its perils, and each new discovery makes her want to flee, as she always has before. This time, flight may no longer be an option.