As the proverb says: “All good things must come to an end.” That’s true of the Clement County Saga. The four active authors, all current or former EKU professors, who write under the pen name, Quinn MacHollister, have tied up the loose ends of the murders, mayhem and mysteries in their fictional Clement County in their tenth and final novel, “The Stolen Child.”
“All the books in the series have been building toward this big finale,” said Charlie Sweet, one of the authors. “And ‘The Stolen Child’ delivers closure in the lives, loves and losses of the key characters inhabiting our imaginary southeast Kentucky county.”
“The tension between the two local feuding Native American tribes, the Quapanogs and the Khiutes, has hit critical mass,” said Hal Blythe, “and it won’t take much to light the fuse to that powder keg to start a civil war.”
Sheriff Mattie Combs is trying to contain the potential violence while also searching for her best deputy’s kidnapped newborn, investigating an explosion at a salt mine, solving several murders, and keeping track of her mother’s progressive dementia.
Fortunately, she has help from varied experts including the past sheriff and his live-in lady lawyer-turned-sleuth partner, the retired head of an international spy organization and its top operative, two Kentucky State Police detectives, a former motorcycle gang leader who is a Khiute, and The White Wolf and his brother who is now tribal leader of the Quapanogs.
Most evidence for the heightened drama points to a mythical shape-shifting Trickster God named Kyotyl, who’s been plotting for centuries to become immortal once he was freed from his containment urn.
“That might seem a bit bizarre but remember, Clement County is where the locals have confronted witches, superwolves and possibly aliens,” Mason Smith said.
Also playing crucial roles in the book are a local newspaper reporter, a noted cryptozoologist and her college professor parents who adopted a young sasquatch and taught him sign language and how to speak.
“From the first book, ‘Shadows Over Banshee Ridge,’ where the peaceful Appalachsquatches fought the violent Rockysquatches in an epic territorial battle, we’ve seen how Clement Countians and Appalachsquatches have since been living more openly and in harmony with one another,” says Marie Mitchell.
All four authors agree it’s been a blast writing collaboratively, creating and populating Clement County with such diverse characters. And, while they’ve completed the 10-novel saga, some characters will continue to live on.
One of the newest characters on the scene is KSP Detective Kelly Stonebreaker who pops up in some short stories Blythe and Sweet have been writing together. Smith and Mitchell, likewise, might borrow a few of their favorite characters for future publishing adventures.
All ten books in the Clement County Saga, including the final novel, “The Stolen Child,” are available through Amazon and on Kindle. The authors want to extend a special salute to the late founding member Rick Givan, and his daughter, Chelsea Adkins, who has designed the book covers and pages.