Marcie R. Rendon discusses Sinister Graves

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Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently welcomed Marcie R. Rendon, author of the Cash Blackbear mysteries. Signed copies of Rendon’s latest novel, Sinister Graves, are available through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3TgPd3C

Here’s the description of Sinister Graves.

“Marcie Rendon is writing an addictive and authentically Native crime series propelled by the irresistible Cash Blackbear—a warm, sad, sharp, funny and intuitive young Ojibwe woman. I want a shelf of Cash Blackbear novels! To my delight I have a feeling that Rendon is only getting started.”
—Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Night Watchman

Set in 1970s Minnesota on the White Earth Reservation, Pinckley Prize–winner Marcie R. Rendon’s gripping new mystery follows Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman, as she attempts to discover the truth about the disappearances of Native girls and their newborns.

A snowmelt has sent floodwaters down to the fields of the Red River Valley, dragging the body of an unidentified Native woman into the town of Ada. The only evidence the medical examiner recovers is a torn piece of paper inside her bra: a hymnal written in English and Ojibwe.

Cash Blackbear, a 19-year-old Ojibwe woman, sometimes helps Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, on his investigations. Now she knows her search for justice for this anonymous victim will take her to the White Earth Reservation, a place she once called home.

When Cash happens upon two small graves in the yard of a rural, “speak-in-tongues kinda church,” Cash is pulled into the lives of the malevolent pastor and his troubled wife while yet another Native woman dies in a mysterious manner.


Marcie Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, a Pinckley Prize-winning author, playwright, poet, freelance writer, and a community arts activist. Rendon was awarded the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award for 2020. She is a speaker on Native issues, leadership, and writing. Her second novel in her Cash Blackbear mystery series, Girl Gone Missing, was nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by Minneapolis AARP and Pollen in 2018. She lives in Minneapolis.


Enjoy the conversation with Marcie Rendon about the Red River, her Cash Blackbear series, and Sinister Graves.