Between the Covers on 04/08/10
Host Marianne Barisonek interviews Susan Stoner, author of "Timber Beasts"
Set in Portland, OR, in the early 20th century, this mystery centers on the social, economic, and political imbalances of the robber baron era, with particular emphasis on the harsh inequities of the timber industry. Sage Adair, a secret agent for the fledgling labor movement, leads a double life. As owner of an upscale restaurant, he rubs shoulders with the wealthy and powerful. But Adair feels more at home in his role as John Miner, a poor but resourceful laborer, finding himself, as the need arises, in logging camps, hobo camps, and riding the rails. His job is to uncover and reveal injustice and corruption. He finds plenty, including the slaying of a notorious railroad bull, a thug hired to rid the rails of hobos and to perform dirty work for the owners. Although the bull had many enemies, the police focus their attention on a teen who Adair knows is innocent. His relentless and dangerous pursuit of the truth unravels a complex web of corruption involving some of the city's most respected citizens.
Union attorney Susan Stoner has been moonlighting as mystery novelist S.L. Stoner for ten years. While serving as general counsel at Portland-headquartered Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, she worked in her free time to develop a series of historical mysteries set in the Portland of 1902. Now the first published installment is in print, and is garnering favorable reactions from local historians and labor history buffs.