Crow in Stolen Colors

Simpson, Marcia

Published by Poisoned Pen Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 1890208361 / ISBN 13: 9781890208363
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First Printing of the First Edition. Signed by the Author on the title page. Author's first book. Book and dust jacket in fine, as new condition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: What's not to like? Wrangell, Alaska, rich in scenery, laden with native lore. A child who's not cute but sturdily self reliant. No victim, although needing shelter, James has been prepared by his grandfather for the weight of tribal responsibility. He knows where all the Tlingit bodies are buried. A great, half breed dog who neither talks nor detects. Sam's just a dog. A woman who's wounded but walking, struggling to make sense of her life. She's stubborn and somewhat rash, but you can forgive her as you warm to her prickly personality and watch her pilot her freighter/floating library. And a cop who's no SNAG (that's Sensitive New Age Guy) but working on his attitude. Toss in some Tlingit totems and you get a winning and colorful debut mystery which also has a winning concept: hardcover publication by us (April 30), mass market publication by its originating publisher, Berkley Prime Crime (May 8, $5.99).
Crow in Stolen Colors ($24.95) is reviewed in the April issue of Firsts, The Magazine for Book Collectors. While fairly citing some flaws, Kathryn Smiley sums up: "Liza has lived several lives: daughter of a native American mother who left Liza and her Anglo father; wife of a policeman shot to death by a crazed druggie; skipper of a coastal freighter. Now Liza unwillingly takes on another incarnation, as protector of a seven-year-old Tlingit boy who himself is the guardian of a very big secret.... This is an entertaining debut with a vivid setting and a brisk pace. Simpson is obviously at home in a boat on the tricky waters of the Alaskan coast; after a session with Crow in Stolen Colors, you feel a need to wash the salt spray off your face....[it] provides readers a passage along waterways few of us have visited and a thoughtful look at the true value of cultural heritage."

Review: "Simpson's Crow In Stolen Colors wins 2001 Spotted Owl Award
Washington State novelist Marcia Simpson has been chosen as the recipient of the Friends of Mystery's 2001 Spotted Owl Award for her 2000 book Crow In Stolen Colors.
Crow in Stolen Colors is a mystery about an Alaskan freight service provider and floating library purveyor, Liza Romero, who attempts to save a young Tlingit boy from danger. Award committee member Maggie Stuckey commented: ~??Out of 55 candidates we narrowed the field to 10 finalists; that part was easy. Choosing the one best out of those 10 was not so easy.
Three excellent books ranked very close right behind the winner. The setting (Alaskan fishing waters) is lush and beautifully rendered; the main characters are fully drawn and believable. Simpson sets her story amid familiar tension (the clash of Native culture and modern society) but manages to do so without condescending to either one, and without cliches. Personally, I was impressed most of all by the quality of the writing: clean, strong, and pure. Her touch is so confidant I was astonished to learn this was her first book: really quite amazing.~?~
Interestingly enough, this book was published almost simultaneously in hardcover and paperback. Poisoned Pen Press published the book in a small hardcover print run on May 1, 2000, and Berkley Prime Crime published it on May 8, 2000, in paperback. This arose out of the interest of Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald at the Poisoned Pen Press who had seen several promising paperback originals languish with collectors because of the format. They examined the British model where many books were brought out in hardcover and trade paperback nearly simultaneously, and adapted it here.
Simpson, who was born in Nebraska and received her BA from Stanford and MA from The University of Wisconsin, now lives on Lopez Island in Washington State. Before becoming a full time author, Simpson taught learning disabled children and also spent several years living on a boat in the harbor of a small fishing village in Alaska. She is the mother of 4 and continues to share sailing adventures with her husband in Alaska. Her follow up book, Sound Tracks, is due out in May of 2001.
The Friends of Mystery's Spotted Owl Award is given annually to the best mystery novel written by an author living in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska). The Spotted Owl Award committee, organized by Elinore Rogers, first narrowed down 55 mystery novels published by Pacific Northwest authors in the year 2000 to a top ten list, from which it then selected Ms. Simpson's book to receive the award.
The other top ten titles were: Skeleton Dance by Aaron Elkins; The Deader the Better by G. M. Ford; Ellipsis by Stephen Greenleaf; Codebreaker by Katherine Myers; A Dangerous Road by Kris Nelscott; Midnight Come Again by Dana Stabenow; Nothing Gold Can Stay also by Dana Stabenow; Charlie's Web by L. L. Thrasher; and Deepest Water by Kate Wilhelm."

"Crow in Stolen Colors, by Marcia Simpson is one of the most enjoyable books that I have ever read. Every chapter begins and ends on a high note, which entices and captivates the reader to keep on reading. I found that each chapter was thoroughly exciting and I simply could not put the book down Simpson’s character and plot development was surely brilliant.
For example, when James, the small child in the story says that he is from the island with no name, I was totally blown away by the double meanings that Ms. Simpson used to create suspense both in the early and later chapters. Her use of words not only helped me to fully visualize the characters’ physical appearance but also their personalities, and flaws.
I also liked her use of the artifacts from the Tlingit culture, such as the Listening Stone, which gave the story a different perspective, and twist. The mystical power of the Listening Stone holds the secrets and key to both the ancient and modern generations. I was totally fascinated and wanted to find out more about why the Listening Stone was of great importance. I thought that the descriptions of the Tlingit culture were well done as well. I thought that the bits and pieces of descriptions were well placed and that these descriptions did not come across as overbearing or lecturing. On the contrary, I found myself not only fascinated by the mystical Tlingit culture, but also a little saddened by the assimilation and desecration of their culture, into another one. I would surely recommend Crow in Stolen Colors to anyone and everyone that is interested in being fully entertained, and at the same time would like to learn about a different culture.
—Lisa Low, Abbey Books"

"More and more lately, I've been discovering mysteries written in and/or based in Alaska. I grew up there so I'm always interested in reading books featuring my home state. However, most are set in northern Alaska and I grew up on an island in Southest Alaska. When I received this book, I was doubly excited because not only was it set in Southeast Alaska, but it was written by someone who actually lived there.
In her first mystery, Marcia Simpson takes us on a suspense filled adventure which shows the beauty and dangers of the coastal towns and villages in Southeast Alaska. While piloting her supply barge to the small villages surrounding Wrangell, Liza Romero discovers a small boy washed up on the shoreline, barely above the rising tide. She rescues the boy and finds herself in the middle of a life and death struggle involving murder, smuggling and ancient Tlinget culture.
Not only does this book offer great descriptive passages of the landscape, it also rings true as to the types of people populating this last frontier. The suspenseful twists and turns of the mystery are well written and keep the pace constantly moving. There is never a dull moment, never a breather, never a wrong turn. I did figure out the ""bad guy"" pretty early on but it didn't detract from the adventure and fun in the book as a whole. This one is definately a must-read!
--Cathy Gallagher, mysterybooks.about.com"

...I hope to see Marcia simpson someday since her 1st novel, CROW IN STOLEN COLORS was excellent. It is about Lisa Romero ,a Lummi from Washington, who is now in Wrangle Alaska to recover from the death of her cop husband. She is running a freight service on a 60ft. boat to the islands. She finds a small boy on a beach, rescues him,finds a corpse and the bullets start flying. I didn't have much trouble figuring out the bad guy, the climatic ending was tense, and there is the question of who is going to survive all of this. Many of the characters do turn into pleasnt surprises. I liked this story so much I wrote a review for Amazon.
--Loraine in very sunny Washington.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Crow in Stolen Colors
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New
Edition: First Edition

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Book Description Poisoned Pen Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. 1890208361 264pp. First Edition. Signed by author on title page. Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket (spine head very lightly bumped) protected in a mylar sleeve. DM-6. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1004743

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Book Description Poisoned Pen Press, U.S.A., 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. 1st printing. A touch of wear at extremities. DJ in mylar. Signed by the author on the title page. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 008745

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Book Description Scottsdale: Poisoned Pen Press, 2000., 2000. Book Condition: Like New. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. The author's first novel. SIGNED by Marcia Simpson. Very fine book in very fine dj. Bookseller Inventory # 3005684

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Book Description Poisoned Pen Press, Scotsdale, Arizona, 2000. Hardbound. Book Condition: Near Fine/Near Fine. 1st Edition. 264, Light blue w/ black title at spine. Little to no shelf wear. Signed by the author on title page. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS2033525I

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