Robin Bentley and Cate Running Wolf have been through a lot together, most recently risking their lives to solve a murder. You’d think they’d learn.
But when 96-year old Era Dudley, a spry, compact woman with mauve hair, charges toward Robin, points a bony finger in her chest and demands she helps locate her missing son, Robin can’t resist drawing Cate and the No Ordinary Women book club into yet another mystery. They’re not without help, however. Era and the other loveable and quirky residents of Meadowpoint Manor are not about to be sidelined, despite their advanced years.
Spirited Away is the second in the No Ordinary Women mystery series that begins with Murder at Spirit Falls.
In the process of writing Murder at Spirit Falls, I discovered, as many before me have, that characters take on a life of their own. Robin and Cate have become insistent voices in my head, nagging me to keep telling their story. Added to their stories are the voices of Robin’s and Cate’s mothers, plus a few other senior citizens who are near and dear to me. One day I found myself writing my own mother, Daisy, into the story. My mother read the first draft of Murder at Spirit Falls. She loved it, and since, when she was alive, Daisy fashioned herself a bit of an amateur sleuth, I believe she wanted to get in on the action in Spirited Away, as do other residents at Meadowpoint Manor.
People ask me who would play certain characters in the movie rendition, but the people who come to mind are real. For instance, Era Dudley is fashioned after a woman from my home town who, in her mid-nineties, was still driving around town in her Model A Ford to visit “the old people” in nursing homes. She and her good friend never had to cook–they simply went from one funeral lunch to another.
Readers tell me that the characters of Murder at Spirit Falls have grown on them. Some identify with Robin’s struggles with breast cancer. Others feel a kinship to Cate’s advocacy for animals. And of course there is the obvious allure of book clubs, the place so many of us have formed friendships with smart and caring people who have not forgotten the healing power of laughter. ~Barbara
Praise for Spirited Away:
In this second entry in the No Ordinary Women Mysteries, best friends Robin and Cate enlist a whole slew of amateur sleuths, the senior residents of Meadowpoint Manor (including their own mothers!) whose common sense and zest for life make them enormously appealing characters. The premise of this engaging series is that there are No Ordinary Women, and SPIRITED AWAY provides another convincing argument. As she draws each detailed character with uncommon perception and compassion, Barbara Deese offers poignant glimpses into the complex and mysterious lives of others. ~Erin Hart, author of The Book of Killowen
Spirited Away is a fun read, populated with captivating and strong characters in a unique setting. They’re people we might miss in the rush of our daily lives except that Ms. Deese brings them to life. She reminds us that regardless of age and health, people are endlessly fascinating and still capable of high compassion and low crime. ~Colin T. Nelson, author of Flashover
Eclectic characters keep readers guessing in a puzzling missing person case. ~Julie Kramer, national bestselling author of Shunning Sarah.