Emmy has been hired to help sort reader letters for the advice columnist Mrs. Bird. A gruff, old-fashioned woman, she refuses to answer anything that references the “unpleasantness,” so Emmy begins to write her own replies.
Early American cemeteries with grinning skull tombstones. Wood beam buildings with low ceilings. Early winter nights buffeted against gaping brick hearths. Old maple trees that creak in the wind.
Drawing on the themes of Shakespeare’s MacBeth, Katherine is a fierce woman, tired of living by her husband’s rules and she has no problem committing murder to get what she wants. And, as is the sign of good storytelling, the audience is tempted to cheer for her.
Miller has written more than a novel; she has drawn a psychological sketch of a previously minor character in the mythological panoply.
McNamara outlines the specifics of the mystery in searing exactitude. She pulls bizarre and vivid details from witness statements and police reports, breathing new life into the cold case.