D.M. Pirrone – No Less in Blood
This week, I’m hosting author, D. M. Pirrone.
D.M. Pirrone is the nom de plume of Diane Piron-Gelman, author of No Less In Blood (Five Star/Cengage, 2011) and Shall We Not Revenge (forthcoming in July 2014 from Allium Press of Chicago). In addition to writing, she works as a freelance editor (Word Nerd, Inc.) and audio book narrator. A Chicago native, history buff and avid mystery reader, Ms. Piron-Gelman is a long-time member of MWA Midwest and Sisters in Crime. She lives on the Northwest Side with her husband Stephen and two sons, David.
No Less In Blood
In 1893, seventeen-year-old Mary Anne Schlegel left her uncle’s Chicago home and vanished. The discovery of her fate more than a century later upends the life of Rachel Connolly, an adoptee desperately seeking her roots. Rachel’s search for her birth mother leads her north to Minnesota’s Iron Range and deep into a shrouded family past, where she uncovers a secret kept for three generations… a secret one of her new-found kin just might be willing to kill for.
Here is an Excerpt:
The new-car smell had given Linnet a terrible headache. She couldn’t sleep, though she’d been trying since they’d passed Milwaukee. She squeezed her limp stuffed rabbit tighter, nearly strangling it. The worn fabric smelled like wet cardboard. The familiar scent should have calmed her. But there was no comfort in the toy, nor in anything else she could think of. Back when she was eight, Ears had held enough magic to drive the demons away. Now she was twelve, old enough to know better. It’s a stupid stuffed animal. It can’t fix anything. Only a stupid little kid would think it could.
Her eyes felt hot, and for a moment she wanted to throw Ears across the car—but then Ruth would know she was awake, and would insist on talking. She didn’t want to talk right now. She didn’t want to hear Ruth’s too-cheerful voice telling her that everything was going to be just-fine-don’t-you-worry, when underneath she could hear that everything was not going to be fine. She wanted Mama, and a home for them someplace other than at the women’s shelter Ruth ran. Someplace where she could have her own room.
Someplace where her father wouldn’t find them.
The dark, the cold, the strangeness of hurrying down the street with Mama in the middle of the night—she remembered that most clearly from the first time they’d left, four years ago. They’d taken the bus for hours. She’d fallen asleep holding Ears, lulled by the dull rumble of the motor. Ears was new then, her Easter Bunny present—though it really came from Mama. Dad started yelling and wouldn’t stop. Quit spending money on stupid shit, he said. You’re too stupid to live, you dumbfuck whore. When the beating began, she’d hidden under her bed with her face pressed against Ears’ soft belly. She hadn’t dared come out, even after the slam of the front door and a long silence told her that her father was gone.
They passed a highway sign. Linnet read it in the glow of the headlights: Minneapolis 70, Duluth 207. They were headed beyond Duluth, to a town called Birch Falls where her grandfather lived. She’d seen a picture of him once: tall and bony, with a face that looked as if it didn’t know how to smile.
Linnet wondered how he’d look when she and Ruth showed up on his doorstep.
Check out this great review for No Less in Blood:
D. M. Pirrone’s debut thriller, No Less in Blood, is a complex mystery of family, greed and love that spans more than a century… The plot, with its multiple points of view and alternating timeline, is easy to follow, the narrative clearly written and fast-paced. Those who appreciate a strong, family-centric drama will be taken in by No Less in Blood.”
—Mysterious Reviews, March 25, 2011
Here’s a promo paragraph about Diane’s new novel, Shall We Not Revenge (Allium Press of Chicago, release date July 2014)
In the harsh early winter months of 1872, while Chicago is still smoldering from the Great Fire, Irish Catholic detective Frank Hanley is assigned the case of a murdered Orthodox Jewish rabbi. His investigation proves difficult when the neighborhood’s Yiddish-speaking residents, wary of outsiders, are reluctant to talk. But when the rabbi’s headstrong daughter Rivka unexpectedly offers to help Hanley find her father’s killer, the detective receives much more than the break he was looking for.
Their pursuit of the truth draws Rivka and Hanley closer together and leads them to a relief organization run by the city’s wealthy movers and shakers. Along the way, they uncover a web of political corruption, crooked cops, and well-buried ties to two notorious Irish gangsters from Hanley’s checkered past. Even after he is kicked off the case, stripped of his badge, and thrown in jail, Hanley refuses to quit. With a personal vendetta to settle for an innocent life lost, he is determined to expose a complicated criminal scheme, not only for his own sake, but for Rivka’s as well.
To purchase, No Less in Blood:
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