cover image Sinister Graves

Sinister Graves

Marcie R. Rendon. Soho Crime, $27.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-64129-383-9

Set sometime in the 1970s, Rendon’s strong third Cash Blackbear mystery (after 2019’s Girl Gone Missing) finds 19-year-old college student Cash, an Ojibwe who was separated from her family when she was three, continuing to serve as the unofficial assistant of Wheaton, the sheriff of Minnesota’s Norman County, who rescued her from the foster care system. When flood waters on the Red River float the body of an unidentified Native American woman into Ada, Minn., the coroner determines that she was smothered to death. The coroner shows Wheaton and Cash an item he found on the body: a torn page from a hymnal with words in both English and Ojibwe. Cash later learns of the victim’s possible connection to another dead woman, who attended an unusual fundamentalist church run by the charismatic Pastor John Steene. Despite being warned to stay away from Steene, Cash seeks him out, determined to get to the truth. Rendon deepens the complex character of her eccentric Native American lead, who believes she can read minds and has revelatory out-of-body experiences. Lisbeth Salander fans will be eager to see more of Cash. Agent: Jacqui Lipton, Raven Quill Literary. (Oct.)