Edith here, happy to welcome Keenan Powell to the blog today! Her new book, Deadly Solution, is just out and she’s giving away an e-copy to one commenter.
Less than a year after drinking sidelined her career as a public defender in Anchorage, Alaska, Maeve Malloy is asked to defend an Aleut Indian accused of beating another homeless man to death. With no witnesses to the crime and a client who claims to have no knowledge of the night of the murder due to a blackout, the case is stacked against them. When Maeve and investigator Tom Sinclair discover there may be a link to an unusually high number of deaths among the homeless community, the search is on for a killer hunting among the most vulnerable members of society.
In high school, writing seemed like a romantic endeavor. Pounding the keyboard when the muse strikes, laughing and swearing with my friends as we drank coffee on sidewalk cafes, wearing berets, earning oodles of money. But I didn’t have a story to tell of my own.
So, I ended up in law school. Later I realized, I was particularly well-suited for litigation. It’s a storytelling profession where you get paid to fight with other people. What’s there not to like?
Fast forward twenty plus years: On this particular morning, I was sitting in a continuing legal education seminar when the two presenters, a workers’ compensation employee attorney and an insurance defense attorney, were talking about a case they’d had years before. They had to run to court for an order prohibiting the medical examiner from disposing of the remains of a man who had died working on the North Slope so that their experts could examine the body. Little known law: the medical examiner in Alaska can declare the cause of death without doing an autopsy and dispose of the remains within seventy-two hours. If no one claims the body, it’s cremated.
A light flashed in my head. I slapped the table in front of me and yelled, “That’s how he did it!” startling the lady who was knitting beside me. A few years earlier, a dozen homeless people had died during the summer within weeks of each other. The thing is, homeless people in Anchorage, Alaska, generally die from exposure during the winter. Having made it through the winter, it’s unlikely they’d start dropping in the summer. The city was in an uproar, convinced that there was a serial killer afoot. However, the police insisted that the medical examinations revealed that there had been no foul play. Then, the murders stopped as mysteriously as they started.
Sitting in that seminar next to the knitter, I’d realized: If the medical examiner determines the cause of death without doing an autopsy, and then destroys the remains, who’s to say he’s right?
I had a story.
Readers: How have twists and turns shaped your life? Share a “flash of light” moment in your life for the chance to win a e-copy of Deadly Solution. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends January 28, 2018.
Keenan Powell was born in Roswell, New Mexico, several years after certain out-of-towners visited. Her first artistic endeavor was drawing, which led to illustrating the original Dungeons and Dragons when still in high school. A past winner of the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic grant, her publications include Criminal Law 101 in the June 2015 issue of The Writer magazine and several short stories. She writes the legal column, Ipso Facto, for the Guppies’ newsletter, First Draft, and blogs with the Mysteristas. She lives, and practices law, in Anchorage, Alaska. When not writing or lawyering, she can be found riding her bike, hanging out with her Irish Wolfhound, studying the concert harp, or dinking around with oil paints.
Visit Keenan at: www.keenanpowellauthor.com