When a town is shrouded in secrets
Sometimes those secrets are best left buried
TIP OF A BONE
by Christine Finlayson
Buried bones, a missing eco-activist, and a deadly fire?
It's not what Maya Rivers bargained for when she moved to the coastal city of Newport, Oregon t reunine with her brother, Harley. Yet when Harley is accused of an unthinkable crime, Maya insists on adding amateur sleuth to her career options. It isn't long before she discovers an eerie clue . . . but the closer she gets to the truth, the closer a murderer follows.
What the reviewers are saying . . .
An intriguing, fast-moving mystery. Tip of a Bone is layered with taut writing and smart dialogue…”
--Robert Dugoni, NY Times Bestselling Author of Murder One.
A lively mystery, set at the beautiful Oregon coast, with environmental themes woven skillfully through a tale of family loyalty… strong characters, an unusual setting, and a plot that will keep you guessing.”
--Ann Littlewood, author of Endangered, Night Kill, and Did Not Survive
“A page turner… Finlayson keeps the reader hanging on for dear life.”
–Coast Weekend book review
DONNELL: Christine, welcome! Wow a review that says keeps the reader hanging on for dear life? Fantastic. I’m still in the midst of judging two contests, but Tip of a Bone is first on my pleasure reading. I visited the Pacific Northwest often while my daughter lived there. If I wanted to get rid of a body, I can’t think of any greater hiding place. Why did you choose the Pacific Northwest?
CHRISTINE: Thank you for having me here today. The Northwest is home—I grew up in Washington and now live in Oregon. I love our green forests, snowy mountains, rivers, and beaches; the whole “Keep Oregon Weird” vibe; and even the rain. And you’re right: we have plenty of remote lands for hiding bodies!
Tip of a Bone is set on the Oregon coast, a wild and stormy spot. But it’s also full of good memories—my husband and I honeymooned there.
DONNELL: Based on the blurb and your opening, this sounds like a cross of a hardcore mystery. How does an amateur sleuth fit in, and explain to us what expertise your sleuth holds that she should willingly get involved?
CHRISTINE: It’s not that hardcore! Maya Rivers is the ultimate amateur sleuth—rather than having a career that leaves her stumbling over bodies, she gets involved because of an emotional connection. When her brother gets accused of a horrible crime, Maya is devastated and must decide if he’s worth fighting for. She doesn’t start the book with much expertise—just raw determination and a fearless attitude—but by the end, she’s earned her skills.
DONNELL: Obviously a lot of research went into writing this book. What is the most interesting piece of research you discovered while writing this book?
CHRISTINE: Every March, the community in Newport hosts events to kick off the ocean-fishing season. During the Blessing of the Fleet, decorated fishing boats pass through the bay while a chaplain offers a prayer for the vessel and crew’s safety. That same day, fishermen participate in timed competitions to test skills such as knot tying and crab-pot heaving—as well as the Survival Suit Races that appear in Tip of a Bone. These events were fascinating to watch, but it was sobering to learn about the dangers of commercial fishing: since 1900, more than 120 local fishermen have been lost at sea.
DONNELL: When you’re not writing, where will we find Christine Finlayson?
CHRISTINE: Reading. I love to read, probably more than I should if I want to be a productive writer. J You may also find me enjoying the outdoors with my family, doing nature photography and crafts, or training for my favorite sport: triathlon.
DONNELL: Are you strictly a mystery writer or do you write any other genres?
CHRISTINE: My second book (in progress) is a suspense novel. For both writing and reading, my tastes are changing from classical mysteries to suspense, in part because the “Why’d he do it?” question is even more interesting to me than the “Who-dun-it?” Also, I enjoy writing in multiple points-of-view and using different character voices—a great fit for suspense novels.
DONNELL: Name the most unusual thing you keep in your closet.
CHRISTINE: We live in an old bungalow with surprisingly big closets, used to store many things—from baby shoes to fabric pieces I’m absolutely going to use someday. But the most unusual thing would probably be my triathlon wetsuits, hanging in mesh bags next to my clothes.
DONNELL: If you could meet anyone, past or present, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
CHRISTINE: You mean I have to choose between Daniel Craig and a dozen favorite authors? Tough call! Actually, it would be amazing to meet Stephen King and talk writing with him. His approach is so different than mine (way more freeform), but I’ve gleaned some great lessons from his book On Writing. And then—if I can travel through time, I’d want to meet the early suffragettes, plus Amelia Earhart, Vincent Van Gogh, Alfred Hitchcock, and . . . oh, wait, I’m supposed to pick one!
DONNELL: Yes, that pick one is problematic. Now it’s your turn to ask readers a question.
CHRISTINE: Thank you again for having me here, Donnell. I’d like to ask readers: What personality traits do you look for in a strong female character? What makes her interesting? And what keeps you reading?
BOOK GIVEAWAY: ONE SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY TO A U.S. ADDRESS (OR can do Kindle e-book as gift)
Thanks for being our guest, Christine! Best wishes with Tip of a Bone!