Three books published this year by brand-new novelists remind us of the rich literary opportunities the Adirondacks offer for writers. History, nature, and mystery unite in three novels set in the Adirondacks by three seemingly disparate authors.
Tibetta’s World, historical nonfiction writer Caperton Tissot’s first novel, offers a deeply class-conscious historical and philosophical look into great camp life. Barbara Delaney, a hiking guide and co-author with husband Russell Dunn of the historically minded hiking guides Trails with Tales, has brought forward Finding Griffin a family mystery centered on a town reclaimed by the Adirondack forest. Finally, Florida lawyer and part-time Bolton resident Thomas G. Kane has published his second novel Desperate Days, a continuation of his first hard-boiled Adirondack Matt O’Malley mystery thriller featuring a dabbling of Adirondack history and landscape, and the Russian mob.
Barbara Delaney’s Finding Griffin (The Troy Book Makers, 2012) was inspired by walks in the woods near Griffin — a long since vanished nineteenth century mill town. Mysterious old letters found in the attic of her Albany brownstone lead Anna, and her restless granddaughter Emma, on a search to discover family secrets in the town of Griffin. To their surprise, the elusive town has all but vanished, reclaimed by the Adirondack forest. What was initially a larky jaunt becomes a puzzle. The letters set in motion an unforeseen journey along the green, verdant paths and rushing lucid streams sequestered in the backwoods of the Adirondacks.
In Tibetta’s World: High Jinks and Hard Times in the North Country (Snowy Owl Press, 2012), historical nonfiction writer Caperton Tissot (author of Adirondack Ice) introduces Tuck Rising, champion ski racer, and his new wife Britt, an up-and-coming fashion designer, who find their fast-paced, sparkling careers interrupted when plunged into the slower rhythm of rural living. While waiting to recover from an accident, Tuck takes on temporary work as a Great Camp caretaker. However, influenced by his surroundings and the desire to remain in one place to raise his daughter Tibetta, he changes his temporary job to a permanent one. This decision forces his parents and daughter into grappling with new realities. Britt struggles to find her place in the small town of Meltmor and to accept Tuck’s five-year-old mystery child who has, until then, been raised by her grandparents. The story of the child Tibetta, her parents, family and friends is a story of self-discovery and transformation. In the ebb and flow of daily adventures, affection and humor tackle conflict, while a pet woodrat lends a touch of magic with his caustic philosophical commentary.
Desperate Days: An Adirondack Mystery (Galtee Press, 2012), is the second novel in the “Matt O’Malley” mystery/thriller series by Thomas G. Kane (Desperate Hours: A Lake George Mystery was published last year). From the opening scene, set in Bolton Landing, the story takes O’Malley on an intense four-day Adirondack search to rescue the daughter of a friend he believes has been taken captive by the Russian Mafia. The story careens from Bolton and Hague toward Keene Valley before coming to a startling conclusion in Piseco. Along the way the author weaves in Adirondack historical references and the development of the Russian criminal class.
NOTE: Books noticed at Adirondack Almanack have been provided by their publishers.