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Hart to Hart: Ellen Hart and Erin Hart read from their mysteries

Ellen’s new novel is The Old Deep and Dark and Bywater Press has reissued Rest for the Wicked in paperback. Erin’s most recent Cormac NcGuire/Nora Gavin book is The Book of Killowen.

Renowned theater director Cordelia Thorn is working to restore a historic theater in downtown Minneapolis that she and her actress sister, Octavia, recently bought. Cordelia has a vision for the playhouse’s future, but the more she learns about the building, the more fascinated she becomes by its past. Nicknamed “The Old Deep and Dark” because of the Prohibition-era double murder that occurred in the basement—then a speakeasy—there are a wealth of secrets hidden inside its walls. And, to her shock and horror, Cordelia discovers that there is also one present-day body literally buried in a basement wall. Cordelia immediately calls on her best friend, P.I. Jane Lawless.

Although Jane is already in the thick of another investigation—she's embroiled in a well-known country-western singer’s family scandal—she agrees to help Cordelia out on the side. But show-biz is a small world, and as Jane starts tracing the trails of two separate investigations, she's surprised to find they might not be as unconnected as she thought.

With The Old Deep and Dark, the latest installment in the award-winning Jane Lawless series, Ellen Hart has crafted another impeccably plotted, seamlessly written mystery.

Ellen Hart is the author of thirty crime novels in two different series. She is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in several categories, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2005. In 2010, Ellen received the GCLS Trailblazer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lesbian literature.

THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

While visiting friends in Ireland one summer, Erin heard an intriguing tale about a beautiful red-haired girl whose perfectly preserved severed head was discovered in a desolate Irish bog. That true story was the inspiration for her debut novel,HAUNTED GROUND, the first in a planned series of crime novels set mostly in Ireland, revolving around archaeology, forensics, history, traditional music and folklore. HAUNTED GROUND was nominated for Anthony and Agatha awards, won Romantic Times Best First Mystery and the Friends of American Writers Award, and has been translated into ten foreign languages, as was the second novel in the series, LAKE OF SORROWS, which was published in October 2004, and also shortlisted for a Minnesota Book Award. The third novel in the series, FALSE MERMAID, was named by ALA/Booklist as one of the top ten crime novels of 2010. THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, number four in the Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire series, was published in March 2013.

"People often ask why I chose Ireland as a setting, and I have to say that I think Ireland chose me," she says. "It's a place I've been drawn to more than any other ever since I was a child. There's something about Ireland's complex and contradictory nature, all those layers of history one on top of the other—that lends a particular resonance to the kinds of stories I feel compelled to tell."

Erin lives in Minnesota with her husband, Irish button accordion player Paddy O'Brien. They make frequent visits to Ireland, going to music sessions, and carrying out essential research in bogs and cow pastures and castles and pubs.

An ancient volume of philosophical heresy provides a motive for murder in this haunting, lyrical novel of forensics, archeology, and history—the fourth in an acclaimed suspense series.

What sort of book is worth a man's life?

After a year away from working in the field, archaeologist Cormac Maguire and pathologist Nora Gavin are back in the bogs, investigating a ninth-century body found buried in the trunk of a car. They discover that the ancient corpse is not alone—pinned beneath it is the body of Benedict Kavanagh, missing for mere months and familiar to television viewers as a philosopher who enjoyed destroying his opponents in debate. Both men were viciously murdered, but centuries apart—so how did they end up buried together in the bog?

While on the case, Cormac and Nora lodge at Killowen, a nearby artists' colony and organic farm and sanctuary for eccentric souls. Digging deeper into the older crime, they become entangled in high-stakes intrigue encompassing Kavanagh's death while surrounded by suspects in his ghastly murder. It seems that everyone at Killowen has some secret to protect.

Set in modern-day Ireland, The Book of Killowen delves deep into the mysteries of the past, revealing a new twist on the power of language—and on the eternal mysteries of good and evil

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