Where the Bones Are Buried
by Jeanne Mathews
on Tour March 1-31, 2015
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 288
Dinah Pelerin has finally put her life in order. Living in Berlin with her boyfriend Thor, she has landed a job teaching Native American cultures at the university. She’s never felt happier. And then her Seminole mother Swan shows up with a crazy scheme to blackmail a German tax dodger and dredges up a secret Dinah has kept hidden from the IRS and from straight-arrow Norwegian Thor, a former cop now with hush-hush international duties.
Germans harbor a century-long fascination with the American Wild West and American Indians. Some enthusiasts dress up as Indians and adopt Indian names. Like Der Indianer Club which has invited Swan to a powwow where she plans to meet her blackmail victim. Dinah tries to head heroff, but arrives at the scene too late. A man has been killed and scalped and Swan quickly becomes the prime suspect. Torn between love for her mother and dismay at her incessant lies, Dinah sets out to find the killer—hoping the killer doesn’t turn out to share her DNA.
But Swan isn’t the only liar. Everyone is lying about something. Margaret,Swan’s dead ex-husband’s former wife, come to the city with Swan. Dinah’s teen-age “ward.” Thor. Especially Dinah. Ghosts of Germany’s terrible history haunt Berlin while she faces exorcising a hateful ghost of her own.
Read an excerpt:
Jeanne Matthews was born and raised in Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. She currently lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, who is a law professor.
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeanne Mathews & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Where the Bones Are Buried. The giveaway begins on Feb 28th, 2015 and runs through April 3rd, 2015. Tour Reviewers are also eligible to host their own giveaway for an ebook copy of Where the Bones Are Buried. All individual giveaway winners must be sent to Gina at Partners in Crime no later than April 3, 2015. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tell us about your book. How did it get started?
Where the Bones Are Buried is the fifth of the Dinah Pelerin international mysteries. At the end of the fourth book, Her Boyfriend’s Bones, Dinah moves to Berlin to live with her lover, a Norwegian counterintelligence agent assigned as liaison to the German police. The bullet-riddled history of Berlin and its aura of murky intrigue provide an irresistible setting for murder. But during my research, I discovered a less well-known aspect of German history – der Indianer phenomenon. For over a century, Germans have harbored a fascination with the American Wild West and, in particular, with the untamed tribes who once lived there. Many have formed clubs in which they dress as Indians, adopt Indian names, collect Indian artifacts, and gather for drumming ceremonies and powwows. Some go so far as to live in teepees in their back gardens, sew their own deerskin clothes, and eschew all technology. The fact that Dinah is part Seminole, and a cultural anthropologist to boot, made this the perfect motif for the book. Given such a rich trove of strange-but-true material, all I had to do was weave in a murder.
How do you create your characters?
I wanted a main character around whom to build a series, a complex character with a troubled past, but one who would reflect my interests and somewhat irreverent sense of humor. She had to love travel as much as I do, but unlike me, she would be footloose and free to come and go as she chooses. I christened this semi-alter ego Dinah Pelerin. Dinah is an old-fashioned Southern name. Like me, she hails from Georgia, and Pelerin means “pilgrim” in French. From the beginning, I planned to take her on a pilgrimage around the globe. When I decided to make her part Native American, I thought that would give her an instinctive empathy for the indigenous peoples of the countries she visited. I had no idea that her Seminole background would become central to the plot of a fifth book.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
When I was eight, I wrote my autobiography. It was short on incident, but my third grade teacher told me it had “flair.” I looked up the word and have aspired to write with flair ever since. My first attempt at a novel was the story of an odyssey across the U.S. in my VW bug from Atlanta to Seattle when I was twenty-one. There were numerous towns and adventures en route. I called the book “God If I Lived Here I’d Kill Myself.” Rereading it later in life, I could see that it had a little too much flair. My second effort, a murder mystery, followed my retirement from the paralegal profession. During my time working for lawyers, seldom a day went by that I didn’t fantasize about killing one. The novel inspired by that experience featured a dead lawyer on almost every page. Once again, it had a little more flair than the world was ready for. Eventually I lit on the character of Dinah, who has plenty of flair and a rebellious spirit, but she is strong and savvy. She knows how to keep her balance and her sense of humor and she can hold her own in any situation. As for what inspires me, I love to travel and I’m drawn to unusual customs, forgotten tidbits of history, and compelling mythologies.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Besides traveling, I read extensively and I’m constantly finding amazing stories and circumstances that I never knew existed. As the wizard Merlyn tells King Arthur in T.H. White’s The Once And Future King, “Learning is the only thing that never fails…the only thing the mind can never exhaust…Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” I’m hooked on learning and I like to incorporate the things I’ve learned about other places and cultures in my books.
What advice would you give to other authors or those aspiring to be authors?
You don’t necessarily have to write what you know, so long as you write what you want to know. Write about something you’re passionate about, something you love reading about and research it until you feel as if you’re living the experience, yourself. If the subject doesn’t turn you on, if your enthusiasm doesn’t shine through in the writing, it won’t interest anyone else.