Perseverance Press 

Digging Up the Past is Dangerous Work

“Lush prose, hard-edged, complex characters, and a good measure of wry
humor: another rich entry in the Port Silva series.” —Kirkus Reviews (July 15, 2004)

The mother-and-daughter private investigative team introduced in Keepers, Patience and Verity Mackellar, take on a challenging new case. A visitor to Port Silva hires them to clear her grand-father of anonymous charges that caused his suicide there thirty years ago.

“Edgar Larson is long gone to whatever reward he deserved, and poking around in old meanness is like shoving a stick in a hornets’ nest.” The words of a retired cop echo in Verity Mackellar’s mind as she and her mother, Patience, aka “Patience Smith, Investigations,” try to put names to the anonymous callers whose accusations of pedophilia drove the Port Silva businessman to suicide thirty years earlier. They were hired by Christina Larson to clear her grandfather’s name, a deathbed promise to her own father. The Mackellars first glean surprisingly pleasant memories of Edgar from local citizens before unfolding events lead to harsher responses, beginning with a suspicious fire at the old Larson house, and then another death.

All of Janet LaPierre’s acclaimed Port Silva books, not least Death Duties, offer profound insights into family relationships through the years. A master of characterization, setting, and plot, she challenges the reader’s intellect. But as well as engaging the mind, these mysteries touch the heart.

Janet LaPierre is a five-time nominee for prestigious mystery writing awards: the Shamus in 2002 for the first Mackellar book, Keepers; the Anthony for short story and for Old Enemies; and the Macavity for Unquiet Grave and Old Enemies. Her Port Silva novels, of which Death Duties is the eighth, have garnered critics’ raves and the respect of her peers and the mystery-reading public. LaPierre lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, and is mother to two grown daughters and grandmother of one. From this base, she explores Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties with a laptop computer in a 25-foot travel trailer, often in the company of her two dogs. The environment and spirit of this quiet but dramatic north country often show up in her books.


Death Duties
A Port Silva Mystery

Janet LaPierre
ISBN 1-880284-74-X
288 pages, Original Trade Paperback, $13.95

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