Deborah Dunn, author
Andrea Warren, a young archaeologist with Native American roots, sets out on a journey to the Outer Banks of North Carolina hoping to unearth the truth about her estranged father, an archaeologist who took his own life when she was a child. But when she inherits an old trunk that once belonged to him and discovers his field journals and some picture of old coffins with the Elizabethan cross carved on top, strange things begin to happen. Dreams, visions, and voices from the past seem to be warning her that her life is in danger. Events turn deadly when she discovers the trunk yields evidence that might solve one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of all time: What happened to Virginia Dare? Where did she go? Based on a true event-- the actual discovery in 1950 of coffins found in the Outer Banks swamps made from dugout Indian canoes and believed by locals to be those of the English colonists who intermarried with the Indians-- the author has crafted a unique, intricate, and compelling story about what could have happened to the 117 men, women, and children, the "lost" colonists of Roanoke Island, who vanished from the face of the earth in 1590. "Not only is it a successful blend of historical research and local ethnography, it is a true page-turning crime thriller. Think Sue Grafton meets Ivor Noel Hume. It is historical fiction as it should be written. A great read!" --Dr. Charles Ewen, Director of the Phelps Archaeology Lab Professor, East Carolina University, Greenville, N. C.
Andrea Warren, the highly resourceful heroine of Dunn’s layered mystery, moves back home with her mother in North Carolina after a whistle-blowing scandal forces her to give up her aspirations of being an archeologist and her engagement goes up in smoke. With few plans and little to lose, she indulges her interest in the area’s history and begins in earnest to learn more about her father, who was of Native American descent and, allegedly, committed suicide when Andrea was a child. Andrea’s late mother once revealed that she kept a trunk full of her husband’s possessions that she has never had the emotional strength to open. Upon going through its contents, Andrea learns of her family’s connection to the lost colony of Roanoke Island and becomes increasingly aware of the uncanny powers she has inherited. Paranormal elements and chapters told from the perspectives of Andrea’s ancestors do little to enhance the story, and the denouement slips into a tone of grandiloquence. Still, readers who relish unsolved historical mysteries will enjoy the sense of uncovering the secrets of the past. (BookLife)