Saturday, October 8, 2022

"Sinister Graves"

Marcie Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, a Pinckley Prize-winning author, playwright, poet, freelance writer, and a community arts activist. Rendon was awarded the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award for 2020. She is a speaker on Native issues, leadership, and writing. Her second novel in her Cash Blackbear mystery series, Girl Gone Missing, was nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by Minneapolis AARP and Pollen in 2018.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Sinister Graves, the third Cash Blackbear mystery, and reported the following:
The Page 69 Test will give you a peek into the heart and mind of Cash Blackbear. I have been told by feminist scholars and college professors that Cash is a case study for PTSD. On page 69 she has been invited into the home of Al, a new acquaintance who rowed her through the flood waters of the Red River Valley to meet with Sheriff Wheaton about a woman’s body that washed in with the flood. As Cash looks around his home she thinks to herself, ‘His house looked lived in. Like a home. In her place, her apartment-if you took away her clothes-you’d never know that someone actually lived there.’ Towards the end of the page she thinks, ‘It had never occurred to her that she might be able to own a home that no one could tell her to leave.’

Page 69 doesn’t tell you much about the murders that happen in the book but this page lets the reader know the inner workings of Cash that propel her to care about solving the crimes Sheriff Wheaton asks her get involved with. No one cared about her in foster care, she moved from place to place. On page 69 she gets a glimpse of other possibilities.

While the storyline of Sinister Graves explores murder and the stealing of Native American children, as always with Cash, there is an undercurrent of past hurt which she strives to overcome, and does, with incredible resiliency.
Visit Marcie R. Rendon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue