"Logue writes beautifully about rural Minnesota life while telling a good mystery. For fans of J.A. Jance and Margaret Maron." --Library Journal
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?
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Award-winning writer Mary Logue was born and raised in Minnesota. She has published twelve adult mystery novels (including the Claire Watkins mystery series), four books of poetry, several nonfiction books, and many children's books. Her books have won a Minnesota Book Award, a Wisconsin Outstanding Achievement award, the Charlotte Zolotow honor award, a Caldecott Honor, and been nominated for an Edgar Award. Her latest novel, Giving up the Ghost, is being serialized summer 2013 in the Star Tribune. She has written articles for the New York Times, Village Voice, Star Tribune, and St. Paul Pioneer Press. She lives with writer Pete Hautman in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Stockholm, Wisconsin.From Booklist:
Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is enjoying a quiet summer in Fort St. Antoine, Wisconsin. She is a bit anxious about her daughter, Meg, who will be going off to college in the fall. The annual celebration of the autumnal equinox features the burning of a Norwegian longboat, and it always attracts a crowd. This year, more than the boat goes up in flames. When a camper notices some bones in the ashes, Claire has a murder case on her hands. Since her boss is recovering from a heart attack, she is acting sheriff and must coordinate the investigation. Her new deputy, Andrew Stickler, is a veteran returning from Afghanistan who is dealing with post-traumatic stress and, much to Claire’s chagrin, dating Meg. When the murder victim is identified as Andrew’s former girlfriend, things get complicated. To find the murderer, Claire will have to learn about Andrew’s war experiences and how they affected him. Logue effectively deepens her well-plotted, small-town mystery with a sensitive look at the issues faced by returning veterans. --Barbara Bibel
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