A Time to Wail was chosen for mysterytribune.com’s 2020 list of the “24 Best Mystery Novels Featuring Native American Detectives”. Exciting to have my book included with such famous writers as the late Tony Hillerman (remember, master thriller author Michael Koryta compared A Time to Wail to Hillerman’s work.) One of my favorite authors, Dana Stabenow, is on the list, as are William Kent Krueger, and the inimitable Louise Erdrich. Among tribal nations featured in the settings of the books, in addition to the Siletz, were Navajo, Ute, Aleut, Tohono O’odham, Ojibwe, Havasupai, Chickasaw, Kiowa, Cherokee, and Warm Springs.
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But Ellie doesn’t want to stay here. She lost her belief in Native culture and traditions years ago. She’s uncomfortable with reservation life, despondent in her grief. She’s angry at herself for failing to prepare Logan for rez dangers. She’s tortured by her secret. Will her grief cripple her? Or will messages from Logan bring her back to herself?
This is no ordinary task, Ellie tells the tribal council as she discusses investigating the looters. She could also investigate the wrongful conviction of her cousin sent to prison for the murder of Ellie’s aunt. But can she prove the murder is tied to the desecration of the tribe’s burial grounds? Can she stop the thieves before they dig up more graves—even Logan’s?
In A Time to Wail, An Indian Country Novel, Grace Elting Castle sets Ellie’s story within the rural beauty of the Siletz Valley and blends in the history of the tribes gathered together as the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.
“A TIME TO WAIL is a marvelous novel, written with unique empathy and authenticity. Grace Elting Castle uses her first-hand knowledge of both PI work and the reservation life and customs of the Siletz people to create a compelling and insightful read that will call to mind the great Tony Hillerman.”
New York Times Bestselling Author
“…With the gift of the accomplished storyteller, the author makes the reader feel what it is like to live the double life of an American Indian, clinging to the old traditions that give meaning to existence, and, at the same time, compelled to in some fashion conform to the demands of an America that has no conception of the importance of what the experience of the American Indian has been. I cannot recommend too highly Grace Castle’s A Time To Wail.”
Author, The Privilege
“…Much as Walt Longmire exposes contemporary reservation issues in Wyoming, the protagonists, Ellie and Chance, uncover issues of rape, murder, secrets, grave robbing and desecration of buried tribal relics and bones and the move to repatriate these relics on a world-wide scale. The author is kind to her readers as she lays out a “ripped from the headlines” view of economic, cultural, social and self-esteem issues suffered by Indian girls who are raped and murdered in disproportional numbers, and whose deaths are never investigated…”
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