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Poison Spring

252 pages
Severn River Publishing Llc

When the murder of a beloved ranch owner shocks the entire county, Maggie Blackthorne must unmask a killer hiding in plain sight.

Ranch owner Mike Drake is a fixture in Grant County, beloved and respected by friends and neighbors alike. So everyone is shocked when his prize bull is found mutilated on his property near Poison Spring, just outside the village of Kimberly.

Police Sergeant Maggie Blackthorne and her partner Hollis Jones are called out to Poison Spring Ranch to investigate the slaughter-but they discover an even greater crime when they find Mike Drake himself, shot to death not far from his bull's carcass.

Residents throughout the county demand answers as Maggie and Hollis get to work on the case, but there are hardly any leads and too many contradictions. Almost everyone around had loved Mike Drake-but he seems to have been killed by a local with a grudge.

Maggie and Hollis must watch their step as they dig up dark secrets about one of the county's most upstanding residents. Particularly when their search takes them into the craggy, luminous fossil beds surrounding Poison Spring Ranch-it's dangerous terrain to wander around in.and the perfect place for a killer to hide.


Praise for LaVonne Griffin-Valade and the Maggie Blackthorne series:

"Lush descriptions, wonderful characters, and plenty of twists will have readers enthralled..." -LynDee Walker, Amazon Charts bestselling author of No Sin Unpunished

"...a strong, smart, lead, a setting that is almost a character itself..." -Susan Hunter, author of Dangerous Habits

"... will have you seeing the rimrock, smelling the sage and greasewood, and feeling the dry cold of the eastern Oregon desert. An excellent read that will leave you wanting more." -James Chandler, author of Misjudged

"Trash-talking, tough as leather, determined, and smart Maggie Blackthorne is just the kind of hero I want to follow in adventure after adventure. I'm looking forward to more of Maggie!" -Shannon Baker, author of the Kate Fox series


What readers are saying:

????? "...twists and turns..."
????? "Highly recommended!"
????? "...the ending is priceless."
????? "...striking descriptions of the landscapes..."
????? "...a good murder mystery, you should not pass this one up."

Author Bio
LaVonne Griffin-Valade was born and raised in the high desert country along the John Day River of eastern Oregon-a place that stoked her imagination and inspired her to become a lifetime writer of short stories, essays, poetry, and novels. She has worn many professional hats: elementary school teacher, mentor, education equity advocate, and Auditor of the City of Portland. Griffin-Valade has published essays and pieces of fiction in multiple publications including the Oregon Humanities Magazine and the Clackamas Literary Review. After receiving her MFA from Portland State University in 2017 she moved to fiction writing. LaVonne lives in Portland, Oregon and works as a full time writer. Dead Point, the first book in the Maggie Blackthorne series, is her debut novel.