Off to Ohio with Jess Montgomery

Jess Montgomery admits she made up the Ohio county for her Kinship series. The Stills is set in southeastern Ohio in coal mining country. She and Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, discuss that section of Ohio, coal mining, Prohibition, and, of course, Montgomery’s series. There are still signed copies of this third book in the Web Store. You can also find copies of her earlier books, The Widows and The Hollows.

Here’s the description of The Stills.

With compassion and insight, Jess Montgomery weaves a gripping mystery and portrait of community in The Stills, the powerful third novel in the Kinship series.

Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Zebediah Harkins almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and—with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb—is determined to find out who.

But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear—and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.

JESS MONTGOMERY is the “Literary Life” columnist for the Dayton Daily News and writes a new Writer’s Digest magazine column, “Level Up Your Writing (Life).” Based on early chapters of the first in the Kinship Series, The Widows, Jess was awarded an Ohio Arts Council individual artist’s grant for literary arts and named the John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House in Columbus. She lives in her native state of Ohio.

Enjoy the conversation between Jess Montgomery and Barbara Peters.