The debut novel in the Kennesaw Travesty mystery series by
Kennasaw Travesty, an unlikely detective – a U.S. Marshal – formerly an acclaimed playwright who has known loss and discovery. Haunted by her past, unable to use a motorized vehicle without becoming violently ill, Kenna relies on Silver, her bike. With a flair for making others uncomfortable, Travesty cracks open cases centuries in the making.
PEEK INTO THE STORY
Kennasaw Travesty is dying to resign from her position of U.S. Marshal so she can get back to playwriting – and an affair with a married man now that she’s menopausal. Too late. The splayed-open corpse of eminent archeologist, Dr. Jefferson Denys, is discovered at Arena, an exclusive retreat for artists and scientists in the Oregon Outback with a sinister atmosphere and killer views.
Haunted by her past and unable to use a motorized vehicle, Travesty rides her bike to the remote crime scene. Luckily, she’s certain it’s an inside job. As more murders jack-up the body count right under Kenna’s nose, she faces off with the survivors – a pack of smart women and a Scottish Lord – all prime suspects, full of betrayal and devotion. Motives veer from jealousy, retribution, and the chance to reap millions of dollars. Baffled at the killer’s use of poison and assassin drone – could there be two masterminds at work? – Travesty determines the answer lies nearby at the Hollyhock Caves and sneaks out to snoop.
Within moments of discovering a scientific secret that will alter our perception of humanity, she’s shot and narrowly escapes. But Kenna’s bound to silence by the Feds and ordered to finger a culprit – any culprit, by any means necessary – to complete an airtight cover up. If she can’t deliver by morning, the Feds will make sure the world’s media have no inkling of Dr. Deny’s demise.
More people will have to die.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“This is an engaging tale, the complex web she proceeds to weave into this who-done-it is dramatic and well-managed… clearly it has a future on bookshelves and bedside nightstands."
ELLEN WATERSTON, author – Oregon Book Award nominee, Writing Ranch
“As a reader I knew immediately I could “trust” the writer.”
ELLEN WATERSTON, author – Oregon Book Award nominee, Writing Ranch
BORN FOR DECEIT
“People, plot, place. Secrets, sex, twists. I love the novels of P.D. James, Agatha Christie, Muriel Spark, so I wrote, Oregon Eclipse. Structured like traditional English murder-mysteries, the series is set in fictitious Rock County – in Oregon’s Outback – with complex characters, unique locations and labyrinthian plots.”
“I love British murder mysteries. They take the reader on an adventure, an adventure laced with danger – murder most fowl. Through the characters we experience the human heart in conflict with itself; an intensification of real life and every emotion. We get to outsize intimacy and make extravagant connections in flagrant violation of most of our mundane realities. Murder reveals our collective humanity.”
“I have always been a hard worker. The work ethic involved in creating a murder mystery is a large part of the appeal for me – and its lots of fun!”
p.k. norris, author of the Kennasaw Travesty mystery series.
“The Oregon Outback provides a setting like England; a land of ancient history and long-standing traditions that collides with contemporary society where you can never outrun your past. The Kennasaw Travesty mystery series draws from this endless source of inspiration to create richly atmospheric novels that are stunning in their complexity and utterly convincing and surprising to the end.”
Rumors have been flying up and down the Rock County grapevine; the legendary gold cannon Captain John C. Fremont was toting and supposedly stashed along the top of Sunset Rim in 1849 has been found. But where? By who? And where is it now? Then, five young buckaroos – a generation of sons from Rock County’s hallowed century ranches – are found slaughtered at the historic Sycan Cabin and mountain Cow Camp adjacent to former reservation lands. Travesty is roped into her second investigation for the Department of Justice’s Ruralland Security Division.
A retelling of Hamlet coupled with Agatha Christie’s famous stage-play. Travesty is eighteen, a melancholy college student. Her parents have perished in an automobile accident due to an ice storm and its Christmas break. She is staying at the remote, historic Elsinore Ranch, with her only cousin and aunt, who has just remarried. A visiting insurance agent is found dead in a guest room with a dagger in his chest. In an unofficial role, assisting the local sheriff who has managed to snowmobile to the location in a debilitating blizzard, Kenna unwillingly untangles the dark secrets and darker passions of a family whose history conceals the truth behind horrific crimes.
OREGON TRACK AND FIELD
Elite track and field athletes from the nations top collegiate programs have worked summers for Quaker Hay for decades. Set in a former summer camp for the wealthy, it was built during the Works Progress Administration out of stone quarried from a nearby canyon. America’s Olympic-gold hopeful in the decathlon is among this summer’s crew. When she is found raped and beaten to death in the camp amphitheater after attending Hollyhock’s midsummer Mosquito Festival street-dance, Travesty is called in to investigate. Can Kenna prevent the killer from striking again?
Hollyhock Hall, a sprawling Victorian pile. Once the mansion of an eccentric logging magnate who built Hollyhock’s lucrative Fremont Sawmill. Now it’s a dormitory for local ranch kids and wealthy international high-school exchange students attending Hollyhock School. Travesty is assigned the task of reconciling the events that led to the suicide at the dormitory, of the son of the Mongolian Ambassador. Kenna makes shocking discoveries when an autistic student learns to speak and divulges what he witnesses from his bedroom window in the middle of the night.
A killer is on the loose. Last summer a seemingly random slaughter of three through-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail was discovered on its path in Rock County’s western mountains. Sheriff Innes left the case unsolved. Now trail season is underway again. In late Spring, two hikers are discovered butchered just east of Hollyhock on the Oregon Desert Trail. Then Travesty receives instructions from the Feds to investigate the slaying of four world-class celebrity mountain bikers racing the Oregon Timber Trail Challenge. Their bodies are found in a remote luxury cabin built by the billionaire who created the trail. The fifth member of the group survives but has no memory of the event.
When mega fires ravage Ashland, Oregon the historic Oregon Shakespeare Festival campus must shut down. The Hollyhock Players community theatre group gets a sudden opportunity to host an acclaimed director and acting company from the Festival who are determined to produce their show. They move into Tower House, on the banks of the Chewaucan River in Hollyhock. The outlandish historic brick tower, originally for storing wheat, was reconverted fifty years ago into the Hollyhock Players Theater-in-the-Round. Travesty has a rocky past with several members of the group and is hesitant to fulfill her assignment from the Feds to investigate when the director is killed in a bizarre manner.
Travesty’s first case as a conditionally appointed U. S Marshal. Powerful U.S. Senator, William Penhollow, of Salem, Oregon, has lost his youngest son. The twenty-one-year old was expecting to attend the annual Burning Man gala in the Black Rock Desert, in Nevada but was last seen, two weeks ago at the Sunrise Lake Hot Springs in Rock County - a popular stop-over for the sea of Pacific Northwest burners traveling to and from the event. Festival hangers-on are lingering on site. Local forces have had no results in locating the boy. Senator Penhollow legislates a Ruralland Security Division be created immediately for Rock County. Through a series of connections and personal circumstances, Travesty is conditionally in charge.
A retelling, of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Mystery of the Blue Carbuncle, a Sherlock Holmes tale. The Sunrise Lake Wildfowl Refuge – organically cubist – the work of LeCorbusier. The original owner discovered three Childe Hassam paintings in the attic of his great grandmother’s ramshackle home on her Sunrise Lake homestead. After selling the paintings he hired LeCorbusier who designed the structures for staff and guests of this wetlands habitat for thousands of migrating birds. He donated the property to Oregon Fish and Game when he died. In swift succession, the head gamekeeper, and a staff member are found drowned. When a second staff member, a daughter of somebody powerful, meets the same fate, Travesty gets the call from Washington to investigate.
OREGON LIGHT AND POWER
Why has Hollyhock’s much anticipated geo-thermal energy production plant gone defunct? Chrome and metal cooling towers have risen from an alfalfa pivot field that once was Sagebrush Downs, Hollyhock’s famed horseracing track. Next to the non-operational clean-power facility, historic wooden racehorse barns were converted and now house the seasonal cowboys who work on the XZ, Oregon’s largest cattle ranch. When the general manager of the regional power cooperative (a black-sheep nephew of the Secretary of the Department of Energy) and a cowboy from Barn Bunkhouse are murdered, partially chopped by large fan blades in the geo-thermal facility, Travesty is summoned to clean up the mess quickly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
p.k. norris grew up in New York City, Kenya and Colorado and has lived in Idaho, Pennsylvania, California and Chile, South America. Now that her two children are grown, she lives in Paisley, Oregon, with her hen, cat and husband who runs Paisley Adventure a bike repair, rental and tour outfit.
She is a current member of The Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. When she’s not concocting her tales, she volunteers to build mountain biking trails on the Oregon Timber Trail and runs around the Outback, training to earn the women’s grandmaster 10k title at the annual Prefontaine Memorial Run.