On a desolate road in the Oregon high desert, an apprentice mortician stumbles upon a horrific car crash–and into a vortex of treachery, long-buried secrets, and growing menace.
Melisende Dulac is a fish out of water after relocating from the East Coast to a small community in the Oregon high desert. But just as she’s beginning to think of Barlow County as home, her life takes an ominous turn when she comes upon a grisly multiple car wreck and three shattered bodies on an isolated road outside of town. Near the scene, Melisende trips over a fourth body, that of a newborn girl lying a physics-defying distance from the wreckage. There is no one to claim the infant, nor a clear indication she was even part of the accident.
The crash offers plenty of opportunities for an apprentice mortician–but when the victims’ bodies are stolen from her family’s mortuary, Melisende is branded suspect number one. Then, Portland lawyer Kendrick Pride arrives on the scene on behalf of one of the victim’s families–or so he says–and Melisende begins to see that there’s much more to this enigmatic figure than meets the eye.
As the shadows gather and the mystery deepens, Melisende must race to find the truth–or be swallowed by the darkness.
- Honorable Mention, 2020 Spotted Owl Award for Best Northwest Mystery
- Check out location maps for Crossroad and other Melisende Dulac stories
- Learn about Bouton Funerary Service
- Learn about the Barlow County Sheriff’s Department
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Short Stories and Novellas
The Sheepshooter’s Funeral
When a young rancher is found dead at the site of his ancestor’s heroic death, many suspect he took his own life. While arranging his funeral, apprentice mortician Melisende Dulac discovers not only was the death a murder, but everyone close to the victim has something to hide.