Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Books · Strange Days
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Strange Days

Erin Crowell - May 24th, 2010
Strange Days: A Dead Sleeping Shaman meets her own end of the world
“Dead Sleeping Shaman”
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
Midnight Ink $14.95
By Erin Crowell
There’s something eerie going on in Northern Michigan, people are coming up dead and they’re doing it in strange places – at least is the case in the Emily Kincaid murder/mystery book series.
In “Dead Sleeping Shaman”—the follow-up to “Dead Dancing Women” and “Dead Floating Lovers”—local author (and Northern Express book reviewer) Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli returns readers to the world of writer Emily Kincaid, who is busy working on a Northern Michigan ghost town story when she happens to stumble across an old woman lying motionless against a tree near a remote walking trail.

Buzzelli writes: “She seemed comfortable enough under the tall pine with that big straw hat covering her face, thin hands clasped in her lap against the cheap fabric of a wildly colored skirt of bilious greens and shocking oranges. Picture of pastoral innocence, I thought…Her long-fingered, beringed hands were still and graceful, one on top of the other in her lap.”
Kincaid passes her off as a drunk, snoozing off that afternoon’s batch, and so she continues on with the day’s mission: tracking down leads for her story in the local newspaper. However, upon her return trip past the woman, Kincaid is confronted with a grotesque reality – the homely woman she had originally passed off as a drunk beggar is actually dead.

END OF THE WORLD
And so begins the mystery of the dead sleeping shaman, a psychic leader of a shamanic healing group with connections to an end-of-the-world revivalist cult in local Leetsville. According to the cult, the end will happen right near the 45th Parallel (the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole, which runs right through our backyard).
With just days until the end of the world, Kincaid has little time to solve the mystery of the dead woman. Luckily, help returns in the form of local deputy and friend Dolly Wakowski.
Family secrets, a ghost town and a forgotten grave give way to answers as the two women use investigative reporting, local connections and good-old Michigan know-how to figure it all out.
“Dead Sleeping Shaman” follows through in the series’ Northern Michigan name game, using such locales as Kalkaska, Traverse City and the Manistee River. Perhaps readers will experience a bit of déjà vu, reliving moments at various scenes throughout the book.
The same can be said for the book’s characters – everyday folks who serve as vital components to solving the mystery. Colorful? No, but when you highlight the little things (like a bad Donald Trump-like comb-over), the people around you become a little more like…well, characters.
Having to deal with her third case of murder/mystery, Kincaid’s character comes off as bitter – and rightly so. She’s a magnet for strange. We get to hear her every thought, from resentment to pessimism, which—at times—is quite comical. However, somewhere behind the tough persona is a scared human trying to figure out her own life.
Is there a connection between the main character and her author? Maybe. After all, Kincaid works on her own “Dead Dancing Women” book while solving the mystery of the shaman. Who knows? Maybe Buzzelli has also had her fill of Northern Michigan strange.

 
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