While recovering from breast cancer, journalist Jeneva Leopold seeks solitude and healing at her missing uncle's gold mine in the Eastern Oregon desert. As her interest in life returns, so do Jeneva's journalistic habits. She soon overcomes the distrust of miners, ranchers, a quirky artifact hunter and a host of other rich characters. They open her eyes to profound changes in the Old West. But the Oregon desert does not give up its secrets easily. The more Jeneva learns, the more she wonders about her uncle's disappearance and why he and her mother stopped talking so many years ago. Then a death on the creek sends her on a quest for answers. What she uncovers shocks the region and nearly claims her life. Praise for Death Pans Out "Fascinating characters, evocative descriptions of a relatively unknown area, and a first-rate plot make this an outstanding debut." -Booklist starred review "Graves finds new gold in dem hills by setting her tale in Oregon mining country and drawing upon personal experience to create a unique protagonist...a small, strong gem of a book."
-Entertainment Weekly Born in Santa Fe to restless, bookish parents, Ashna Graves remained a nomad well into adulthood, trying out worlds from London to the Canadian backcountry. Now settled in a small Oregon town where she is associate director of a humanities research center, she remains drawn to the emptier regions of the American West. www.ashnagraves.com