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Escape into a breathlessly suspenseful mystery-meets-ghost story…


When a record-breaking ice storm hits on New Year’s Eve, shopgirl Mave Michel finds herself trapped with the guests who’ve come to celebrate a grand hotel’s last hurrah. The situation might even be romantic if the rundown chateau wasn’t reputed to be haunted—if the resident artist hadn’t been found dead in her suite—and if Mave’s father wasn’t a hitman who still sends her postcards from prison. 


When she is framed for the murder, Mave must stay one step ahead of authorities pursuing her through the hotel’s byzantine corridors and subterranean tunnels. She can no longer deny the lessons in survival her father taught her—or her strange sixth sense for finding lost objects. Her investigation soon dovetails with a thirty-year-old cold case when she unearths a pile of human bones. The more Mave learns the uncanny truth, the more she vows to stop running from her past. 


The novel explores the powerful, unsettling resonance of forgotten family ties and is perfect for fans of chilling supernatural mysteries like The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James and Ink & Bone by Lisa Unger. 

Publisher inquiries: please contact Ann Leslie Tuttle at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

.  s h o r t  f i c t i o n

“Itch.” Dreamers Magazine. Issue 3: Jul-Oct 2019.  


“They Come for Girls.” PRISM international. 55:4: Summer 2017.


▶️ “The Wasp and the Willow.” Firewords Quarterly. Issue 8: Spring 2017. 

“Prophet.” Ontario Writers’ Conference Contest Winner: Spring 2017.

.  e s s a y s  + 

Double-Crossing the Devil's Nest.” Hamilton Artists Inc., Exhibition Publication. Summer 2019.

How to Discover Editors,” in Now What? Series hosted by Megan Manzano. June 2019.


5 Reasons Querying is Good for You,” in Write It Sideways. April 2018. 

Humanimal Crossings: Posthumanism and Body Politics in the Work of Cole

Swanson,” in Cole Swanson: Out the Strong, Something Sweet. Art Gallery of Guelph, Exhibition Catalogue. Spring 2016. 


Shape-Shifting Beauty: The Body, Gender and Subjectivity in the Photographs of Claude Cahun,” in Resources for Feminist Research. Volume 32. Nos. 3 & 4: 2007. 

Photograph: Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

Artist: Cole Swanson

© 2020 by Carolyne Topdjian.

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