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Archaeologist Faye Longchamp and her friend, Joe Wolf Mantooth, have traveled to Neshoba County, Mississippi, to help excavate a site near Nanih Waiya, the sacred mound where tradition says the Choctaw nation was born. When farmer Carroll Calhoun refuses their request to investigate an ancient Native American mound, Faye and her colleagues are disappointed, but his next action breaks their hearts: he tries to bulldoze the huge relic to the ground. Faye and Joe rush to protect history--with their bodies, if necessary. Soon the Choctaws arrive to defend the mound and the farmer's white and black neighbors come to defend his property rights. Though a popular young sheriff is able to defuse the situation, tempers are short. That night, Calhoun is found dead, his throat sliced with a handmade stone blade. Was he killed by an archaeologist, angered by his wanton destruction of history? Neshoba County farmers have been plowing up stone tools like the murder weapon for centuries. Did one of them take this chance to even the score with an old rival? The sheriff is well-aware that Faye and Joe were near the spot where Calhoun's body was found and their combined knowledge of stone tools is impressive. They had motive, means, and opportunity....but so does almost everyone in Neshoba County.
Mary Anna Evans is the author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries, which have received recognition including the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Mississippi Author Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals. She is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing.
Check out her website, enewsletter, facebook author page, and twitter.
Winner of the 2018 Sisters in Crime (SinC) Academic Research Grant
""The crew hired to document an endangered area on the property of a Choctaw archaeologist whose family and tribe have mixed feelings about digging up their past can't help eying farmer Carroll Calhoun's spectacular mound across the road. The day after he refuses permission to investigate to the professor in charge, Calhoun attempts to destroy the mound, fearing the authorities will confiscate his land. A dangerous standoff is defused when Nashoba County Sheriff Neely Rutland arrives and agrees to look into the legal issues. Racism rears its head when a locally born black man, Lawrence Johnson Judd, a retired congressman, gives a speech at the county fair in which he tells of being hooded and nearly beaten to death before the last-minute arrival of an unseen man. When Calhoun's throat is cut by a stone weapon and Judd almost dies from an overdose, Faye's curiosity gets the best of her. Faye, Joe and attractive visiting racial activist Ross Donnelly set out to find the site of Judd's attack. Trapped in a cave, they manage to escape and confront the killer at a public forum where the sins of the past prove to be the motive for murder.
A captivating combination of archeology, Native-American tales, romance and detection. A must-read for those so inclined."" --Kirkus Reviews