Based on a true unsolved crime from 1877, Laurie Glenn Norris's debut novel tells the story of two small towns linked by the disappearance of a teenage girl. Mary Harney is a dreamy teenager in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, whose ambitions are stifled by her tyrannical grandmother and alcoholic father. When Mary's mother becomes ill, an already fragile domestic situation quickly begins to unravel until the September evening when the girl goes missing.
Across the water on Prince Edward Island we meet Gilbert Bell, whose son finds a body washed up on the beach below the family farm. As the community is visited first by the local coroner and then by investigators, Glenn Norris paints a fascinating and darkly comic picture of judicial and forensic procedures of the time. At once tightly plotted and pensive, the novel travels back to the circumstances that led to Mary's disappearance and then back further to the circumstances of her parents' marriage, all the while building toward a raucous courtroom finale.
Laurie Glenn Norris is a writer of historical fiction and non-fiction and holds an MA in art history. Her book Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery was a finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and is currently optioned for film. She lives in River Hebert, Nova Scotia, with husband Barry Norris and their cat, Riley. Found Drowned is her first novel.
"Few shadows from our collective past are as engaging and captivating as a good maritime Victorian murder mystery. Laurie Glenn Norris, in her novel Found Drowned, weaves a wonderfully mesmerizing tale of compelling characters caught in the darkest of miasmic uncertainties. Drawn into a time and place both warmly familiar yet coldly disturbing, readers will be unable to turn away from from this skillfully told tale until reaching its surprising and satisfying finish." —Steven Laffoley
"[Glenn Norris's] eye for the telling detail of village life and the fears of a terrified, lost girl work well." —The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON)
"We're gripped by the plight of Mary Harney, a spirited young woman who goes missing. Is she escaping from her bed-ridden laudanum soaked mother—or from the oily grasp of her raging father. In Found Drowned, the action, the characters, the trains and towns and waterways all captivate us—drawn with compelling nineteenth-century detail." —Linda Moore, author of Foul Deeds and The Fundy Vault
"Fortune is a strumpet. Laurie Glenn Norris leads us along a murky path strewn with bad luck, or good, depending on the angle of approach. In this nineteenth-century murder mystery Glenn Norris skilfully entangles our assumptions with the facts and keeps us guessing until the last page. This is an engaging read full of wit and intelligence." —Linda Little, award-winning author of Scotch River and Grist
"Hauntingly beautiful...the story offers intrigue, character development and a glimpse of the past." —Ah! At Home on the North Shore
"A body washing ashore opens up a Pandora's box of ugly secrets in Laurie Glenn Norris's historical whodunnit. Set in the late nineteenth century Maritimes, Found Drowned exposes the underbelly of rural life in scenarios rife with family feuds, domestic abuse, and madness. With its near-forensic attention to detail, this suspense-filled tale rubs away the blush of romanticism which often tints views of our past. Think the Age of Sail with a macabre twist." —Carol Bruneau, award-winning author of A Circle on the Surface