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Based on a true unsolved crime from 1877, Laurie Glenn Norris’s debut novel tells the story of two small towns linked by the disappearance of a teenage girl. Mary Harney is a dreamy teenager in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, whose ambitions are stifled by her tyrannical grandmother and alcoholic father. When Mary’s mother becomes ill, an already fragile domestic situation quickly begins to unravel until the October evening when the girl goes missing.
Across the water on Prince Edward Island we meet Gilbert Bell, whose son finds a body washed up on the beach below the family farm. As the community is visited first by the local coroner and then by investigators, Glenn Norris paints a fascinating and darkly comic picture of judicial and forensic procedures of the time. At once tightly plotted and pensive, the novel travels back to the circumstances that led to Mary’s disappearance and then back further to the circumstances of her parents’ marriage, all the while building toward a raucous courtroom finale.
Laurie Glenn Norris’ articles and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Quill & Quire and Atlantic Books Today.
Her non-fiction book, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery, (Nimbus) was a finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and is currently optioned to become a feature film. Her first novel, Found Drowned, was published by Vagrant Press in Spring 2019.
Laurie’s passion is biography, historical fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in the lives of nineteenth-century women. She is currently transcribing a series of letters for publication and researching her second novel.
She holds a MA in Art History from the University of Victoria and is currently the Education and Outreach Manager at the Joggins Fossil Institute.
Laurie lives in River Hebert, Nova Scotia with her husband Barry, who is a freelance editor, lots of books, and Dinah the cat.