Books: Sue Hallgarth

On the Rocks
A Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery

ON THE ROCKS is the first title of a smart new literary mystery series by Corrales, New Mexico author Sue Hallgarth. The year is 1929 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove. Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below…. Solving the mystery, first-time novelist Sue Hallgarth’s intimate view of village politics and the goings-on of two women’s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel. Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American novelist and her talented life partner.

Sue Hallgarth is a Willa Cather and Edith Lewis scholar. She lives in Corrales, New   Mexico with her partner of 25 years. More…

Willa Cather is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist, author of over 20 novels, short story and essay collections.  More…

Edith Lewis was Willa Cather’s professional colleague, devoted friend, and life partner for nearly 45 years.  More…


Death Comes
A Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery

It is June 1926. Willa Cather and Edith Lewis are in residence at the Tony and Mabel Dodge Luhan ranch in Taos, New Mexico, staying in the pink adobe previously occupied by D. H. and Frieda Lawrence. Willa is working on Death Comes for the Archbishop.  Edith is recuperating from a busy year writing ads for J. Walter Thompson.  Mabel, who is full of plans for adding a new home to the “artists’ colony” she has established in Taos, loves the gossip from their early years, especially Edith’s description of meeting Willa for the first time in Lincoln, Nebraska (where they knew absolutely everyone in common but because of their age difference had never met each other), and Willa’s memories of their years at McClure’s Magazine where they knew Mabel’s friend, the Santa Fe poet Witter Bynner. Tony, who left the Taos Pueblo to become Mabel’s fourth and last husband, has made himself available to Willa and Edith as tour guide and historical resource.  On their jaunts through the spectacular Southwestern landscape, Willa and Edith learn the turbulent history of its people–Native Americans, Mexicans, and Anglos–and discover the mysteries of their past…and their most recent crime.