Kathleen here, and I’m SO thrilled to welcome the talented, award-nominated and all-around amazing author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series, Keenan Powell. Take it away, Keenan!
Day Trip to Seward: Trains and Whales
Before I started writing Hell and High Water, I had a clear picture of the first scene. Maeve’s fed up with law, so she decides to take a summer job in Seward, a small village by the sea. To get there, she treats herself to a trip on the glass-domed train. So, I had to go. It’s research, right?
My ostensibly altruistic excuse was taking the family on a whale-watching excursion. We went in May, the time when gray whales begin arriving in Resurrection Bay, and before Seward fills up with tourists. I’ve never seen a whale in real life. It’s like a religious experience, I’m told.
The views from the train were incredible even for this almost-forty-year resident for two reasons. First, you can look around – which is heavily frowned upon when driving. And, second, the rails go where the roads do not. The train passed through land so pristine that moose grazed nearby and sheep perched on the mountain sides. Eagles and ravens flew over the glass dome carriage. And just before we pulled into town, it passed a jade green lake.
When we arrived in Seward, we took a very short walk from the train station to the piers. Not long after we had chugged out into the bay, we saw orca, puffin, and sea lions galore but only the occasional, very distant hump of a grey whale. I was sad. So was most of the boat. And then, lo and behold! just as we were about to dock, there she was, hanging around very close to Seward. It was a religious experience.
If you ever get to Alaska, I highly recommend this day trip. Call me. I’d love to go again.
About Hell and High Water
They don’t call lawyers sharks for nothing. Maeve Malloy has come to the conclusion that law is a tough business. Half the other lawyers hate you. Most of the law office staff hates you. The public hates you. All she wants is to be treated like everyone else.
Maybe, she wonders, she isn’t cut out for it. Maybe she should think about something else, like working in a library or selling cupcakes out of a bright pink van. Then one day she spots a help wanted ad. A tourist lodge on a remote island needs a dishwasher. It’s just the ticket, she thinks. Maybe she’ll even learn how to bake.
Just after she lands at Fox Island Lodge, the tail end of a hurricane moves into Resurrection Bay, cutting the lodge off from civilization. Maeve’s trapped with an ageing hippy cook, a stoned handyman, a biker chick hotel manager, a botanist, two nuns, and a couple of California tourists.
Then someone is murdered. The locals cop can’t get to the lodge because of the storm so he asks Maeve for help. Her cover is blown and she’s thrown back into investigating the who, why, and wherefor of death.
“Continuing to build after a strong start, Powell turns her beady eye and compassionate heart towards the corrosive nature of old secrets and the dangers of reckoning with the truth at last. Maeve Molloy’s third outing is atmospheric, gritty and completely satisfying.”
CATRIONA McPHERSON, multi-award-winning author of STRANGERS AT THE GATE
About Keenan Powell
Keenan Powell is the award-nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series. Her first publication was illustrations in Dungeons and Dragons, 1st edition, while still in high school. Art seemed to be an impractical pursuit – she wasn’t an heiress, didn’t have the disposition to marry well, and hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. The day after graduation, she moved to Alaska. As a young pup, she provided criminal defense representation in a variety of cases spanning from the infamous federal walrus round-up case to murder. When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting or studying the Irish language.