Long Work


The Scoville novellas were not all written at the same time. Far from it.

When my editor at Holland House Books asked if I had any fiction for his mystery imprint, Grey Cells Press, I said, “Not really. Just a little booklet I wrote years ago.  I’m really a literary novelist, you know.”“Send me a copy, anyway,” he said.“Three Blind Mice” was written so long ago that I had to manually transfer the original Selectric typewritten version onto my hard drive.

“If you write two more novellas with the same characters and setting,” he said, “we’d have a book.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” I said.  “It’s been years since I’ve lived in Oregon.”

“Try,” he said.

So I closed my eyes and tried to remember the ocean, the foghorn, the seagulls. Most of all I tried to reestablish my relationships with Detective Scoville and Humboldt Denton. Maggie Denton, too, of course.

It was not difficult.  They’re still alive for me.


Read an excerpt from each novella.


The Absent Woman

Of all my novels, this one has attracted the most interest.  I wrote it when I was, yes, living in a small fishing village in the Pacific Northwest, like Virginia Johnstone, the main character.  And like Virginia, I had turned my world upside-down and was very busy setting it to rights.  My characters often disturb their comfortable worlds.

For an excerpt of the novel, click here.

The Limestone Wall

A widow still mourning her dead husband travels from New York City to her hometown where, for the first time since she was a child, she meets her mother.  Now, my mother was never in the Missouri State Penitentiary, but while the facts are not my facts, much in this book feels autobiographical.  I am incurably nostalgic about Jefferson City, Missouri. . . .

For an excerpt of the novel, click here.


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Holland House Books

Literary Fiction

Marlene Lee

Writing From Where I Live


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