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One Book, One Minnesota Selection for Summer 2021
Introducing Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman whose visions and grit help solve a brutal murder in this award-winning debut.
1970s, Red River Valley between North Dakota and Minnesota: Renee “Cash” Blackbear is 19 years old and tough as nails. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota, where she drives truck for local farmers, drinks beer, plays pool, and helps solve criminal investigations through the power of her visions. She has one friend, Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, who helped her out of the broken foster care system.
One Saturday morning, Sheriff Wheaton is called to investigate a pile of rags in a field and finds the body of an Indian man. When Cash dreams about the dead man’s weathered house on the Red Lake Reservation, she knows that’s the place to start looking for answers. Together, Cash and Wheaton work to solve a murder that stretches across cultures in a rural community traumatized by racism, genocide, and oppression.
About the Author
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 Cash Blackbear mystery, Girl Gone Missing, was nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by AARP Minnesota and Pollen in 2018. She lives in Minneapolis.
Praise for Murder on the Red River
“[Rendon] is one heck of a mystery novelist. Rendon’s Cash Blackbear books are gripping vehicles that tell broader stories about the historical persecution of American Indians.”
“[A] searing, soaring, and ultimately unflinching story of how Native people persevere in the face of policies and people that seek to destroy the essence of who they are.”
—Debbie Reese, co-editor of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
“Marcie Rendon’s debut, Murder on Red River, features the magnetic Cash: aged-out foster child, girl pool shark, truck driver from Minnesota’s White Earth reservation . . . Rendon writes of with flat-out authority.”
—Lisa Sandlin, author of Dashiell Prize–winning The Do-Right
“Marcie Rendon, a member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation, masterfully weaves two stories in a seamless, vivid narrative.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“This accomplished author has clearly undertaken more than a murder story . . . she finds new depth and an ample storytelling platform for her informed views on the historic persecution of Indians.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Funny, unflinching, and almost noir in tone, this book is a winner for those with a taste for classic detective fiction with a deeply modern flair.”
“[Marcie] Rendon delves deep into the history of Native American communities and the danger of forcing assimilation on a community outside the mainstream of American cultural norms.”
—Twin Cities Pioneer Press
“Feisty, sensitive, and smart.”
“A powerful and compelling read that sheds light on the lived experiences of indigenous people, the issues they face and the power of one individual to make a difference.”
—The Reading Lists
“Marcie Rendon’s portrait of a Native woman detective is vibrant and rooted in the complexities of history and a place haunted by a violent past that refuses to loosen its grip.”
—Jeff Berglund, Ph.D., Director of Liberal Studies, Northern Arizona University
“Cash’s life experiences emerge as both landscape and resource to an investigation that engages the reader to the end.”
—David Beaulieu, PhD, Professor of American Indian Education, University of Minnesota, Duluth. Enrolled White Earth Ojibwe
“This first novel by Marcie Rendon is remarkable.”
—Kathryn Swanson, Augsburg College
Praise for the Cash Blackbear Mysteries
“Rendon infuses her novels with compassion for Indigenous women who are missing or killed and never found. Cash’s toughness, commitment to justice and vulnerability honor those women.”
“Rendon’s mystery novels simultaneously inform and entertain readers, presenting current Native American issues through her heroine’s efforts to solve crimes perpetrated against society’s more vulnerable members in the early 1970s . . . Rendon’s stories create a world for Cash that readers will want to inhabit.”
—Chicago Review of Books