Other Books in Series
This is book number 3 in the A Cash Blackbear Mystery series.
Cash Blackbear is only 19, but she’s already experienced a hell of a lot, including abuse from a white foster family that called her a heathen. Just before foster care, a county sheriff pulled her impaired mother’s car out of a ditch. He watches out for her and got her into college classes, and Cash has been helping him with his cases. In dreams she sometimes sees things before they happen and finds out things she shouldn’t know. She’s just beginning to learn about it and just starting to live her own life. Now spring floods around Minnesota’s White Earth Reservation have carried an Indian woman’s body into a nearby town, and Sheriff Wheaton asks Cash if she sees anything that can help. She definitely sees something. There’s a darkness following this death. Cash has lived through crazy things in foster homes, but she’s about to see a whole new level of crazy. I like Cash Blackbear a lot, and I feel validated because Louise Erdrich likes Cash Blackbear a lot, too. This is the third book in the series but the first that I’ve read. I just bought myself a copy of number one. I love finding a cool new series.— Tim McCarthy
"Marcie Rendon is writing an addictive and authentically Native crime series propelled by the irresistible Cash Blackbear—a warm, sad, sharp, funny and intuitive young Ojibwe woman. I want a shelf of Cash Blackbear novels! To my delight I have a feeling that Rendon is only getting started."
—Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Night Watchman
Set in 1970s Minnesota on the White Earth Reservation, Pinckley Prize–winner Marcie R. Rendon’s gripping new mystery follows Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman, as she attempts to discover the truth about the disappearances of Native girls and their newborns.
A snowmelt has sent floodwaters down to the fields of the Red River Valley, dragging the body of an unidentified Native woman into the town of Ada. The only evidence the medical examiner recovers is a torn piece of paper inside her bra: a hymnal written in English and Ojibwe.
Cash Blackbear, a 19-year-old Ojibwe woman, sometimes helps Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, on his investigations. Now she knows her search for justice for this anonymous victim will take her to the White Earth Reservation, a place she once called home.
When Cash happens upon two small graves in the yard of a rural, “speak-in-tongues kinda church,” Cash is pulled into the lives of the malevolent pastor and his troubled wife while yet another Native woman dies in a mysterious manner.
About the Author
Marcie Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, a Pinckley Prize-winning author, playwright, poet, freelance writer, and a community arts activist. Rendon was awarded the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award for 2020. She is a speaker on Native issues, leadership, and writing. Her second novel in her Cash Blackbear mystery series, Girl Gone Missing, was nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by Minneapolis AARP and Pollen in 2018. She lives in Minneapolis.
Praise for Sinister Graves
A Ms. Magazine Most Anticipated Book of 2022
A Publishers Weekly Big Indie Book of Fall
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Book of Fall
“Marcie Rendon is writing an addictive and authentically Native crime series propelled by the irresistible Cash Blackbear—a warm, sad, sharp, funny and intuitive young Ojibwe woman. I want a shelf of Cash Blackbear novels! To my delight I have a feeling that Rendon is only getting started.”
—Louise Erdrich, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Night Watchman
“Once again, Rendon immerses us in the 1970s Midwest and gives readers a plot to carefully consider.”
“One of the most anticipated thrillers of the season.”
“A superb slice of character-centric crime.”
“Marcie R. Rendon has me cheering on Cash Blackbear even more vociferously in her latest mystery! Marcie writes the way Anishinaabe people view the world — full of rich descriptions and layered storytelling. While confronting difficult truths about religion and the value of Indigenous lives, Marcie shares revelatory moments of Cash awakening to her own worth.”
—Angeline Boulley, New York Times bestselling author of Firekeeper’s Daughter
“A powerful, textured, and haunting authentically voiced noir—the kind of book only Rendon could write. The prose is visceral and impossible to ignore, with a story that is bursting with memorable, three-dimensional characters like Cash Blackbear. The best novels in our genre transport readers to new places and times through a knowing, thoughtful guide. Sinister Graves does that and so much more. This book lingers with you in the best way possible.”
—Alex Segura, bestselling and acclaimed author of Secret Identity
“Marcie R. Rendon pulls us into a gritty Native American noir about a rebel with a supernatural verve: Cash Blackbear. She’s as mysterious as she is deadly, and after five minutes in Cash’s presence I was intrigued and charmed. Sinister Graves is a gripping novel that digs into the sacred and unearths haunting fragments of reservation life. Rendon is a master storyteller and binds us inside the depths of our own psychological cellars, of which we may never return.”
—Oscar Hokeah, author of Calling for a Blanket Dance
“Sinister Graves is a gripping, must-read mystery. The rhythm brings to mind Sue Grafton at her finest, but Cash Blackbear, the story’s beating heart, is a character all her own. She’s both fierce and vulnerable, and I’d follow her anywhere.”
—Jess Lourey, Edgar-nominated author of Unspeakable Things
“Emotionally intense . . . [Rendon] skillfully handles sobering social issues of stolen children and isolated young adults who feel loss. Recommend to readers of David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s award-winning Winter Counts.”
“Rendon deepens the complex character of her eccentric Native American lead, who believes she can read minds and has revelatory out-of-body experiences. Lisbeth Salander fans will be eager to see more of Cash.”
“Lots of menace in this hyperunderstated character piece.”