Found Drowned Vagrant Press June 2019
Haunted Girl: Esther Cox & the Great Amherst Mystery Nimbus publishing 2012
Cumberland County: Facts and Folklore Nimbus Publishing 2009
Based on a true unsolved crime from 1877, Laurie Glenn Norris’s novel tells the story of two small towns linked by the disappearance of a teenage girl. Mary Harney is a dreamy teenager in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, whose ambitions are stifled by her tyrannical grandmother and alcoholic father. When Mary’s mother becomes ill, an already fragile domestic situation quickly begins to unravel until the September evening when the girl goes missing.
Across the water on Prince Edward Island we meet Gilbert Bell, whose son finds a body washed up on the beach below he family farm. As the community is visited first by the local coroner and then by investigators. Glenn Norris paints a fascination and darkly comic picture of judicial and forensic procedures of the time. At once tightly plotted and pensive, the novel travels back to the circumstances that led to Mary’s disappearance and then back further to the grim realities of her parents’ marriage, all the while building towards a raucous courtroom finale.
Advance praise for Found Drowned
“A body washing ashore opens up a Pandora’s box of ugly secrets in Laurie
Glenn Norris’s historical whodunnit. Set in the late nineteenth century Maritimes, Found Drowned exposes the underbelly of rural life in scenarios rife with family feuds, domestic abuse, and madness. With its near-forensic attention to detail, this suspense-filled tale rubs away the blush of romanticism which often tints views of our past. Think Age of Sail with a macabre twist.”
–Carol Bruneau, award-winning author of A Circle on the Surface
“Few shadows from our collective past are as engaging and captivating as a good maritime Victorian murder mystery. Laurie Glenn Norris, in her novel Found Drowned, has done this well, weaving a wonderfully mesmerizing tale of compelling characters caught in the darkest of miasmic uncertainties. The reader is adroitly drawn into a time and place both warmly familiar yet coldly disturbing and is unable to turn away from this skilfully told tale until reaching its surprising and satisfying finish.”
–Steven Laffoley, author of The Halifax Poor House Fire and The Blue Tattoo
“Fortune is a strumpet. Laurie Glenn Norris leads us along a murky path strewn with bad luck, or good, depending on the angle of approach. In this nineteenth-century murder mystery Glenn Norris skilfully entangles our assumptions with the facts and keeps us guessing until the last page. This is an engaging read full of wit and intelligence.”
–Linda Little, award-winning author of Scotch River and Grist
We’re gripped by the plight of Mary Harney, a spirited young woman who goes missing. Is she escaping from her bed-ridden, laudanum soaked mother – or from the oily grasp of her raging father. In Found Drowned, the action, the characters, the trains and towns and waterways all captivate us – drawn with compelling nineteenth-century detail.”
–Linda Moore, author of The Fundy Vault
Recognition for Found Drowned
March 11, 2019
The Chronicle Herald
“The Book Shelf”
by Allison Lawlor
Feb 4, 2019
Chosen as one of the 49th Shelf’s most anticipated Spring 2019 Preview books.
Haunted Girl: Esther Cox & the Great Amherst Mystery
In 1878 eighteen -year-old Esther Cox was at the center of a number of unexplained occurrences that plagued the Amherst, Nova Scotia, home of her sister and brother-in-law. Something or someone knocked on the walls, hid household items, moved furniture around, and set fires. Esther herself was subject to mysterious fevers, prodding, and, on one occasion, stabbing. These manifestations followed her when she went to stay with other families in the area. Eventually she was charged with robbery and spent a month in jail, after which the haunting ceased.
Was Esther the victim of paranormal powers or the troubled mind behind a series of elaborate hoaxes? At the time of her alleged haunting, the plausibility of Esther Cox’s claims was hotly debated in newspapers and by fellow Amherst residents. In the hundred years since her death, Esther’s story has been retold numerous times and she remains to this day the town’s most infamous historical figure.
Laurie Glenn Norris and Barbara Thompson examines the mystery at the heart of the Esther Cox legend, with new attention paid to Esther’s tumultuous childhood, following the death of her mother, the opportunities available to women of her time, and the rise of spiritualism and interest in the paranormal in the mid-1800s. Haunted Girl: Esther Cox & the Great Amherst Mystery in an engaging investigation into the facts and the fascination surrounding one of the best- known women in Maritime folk history.
Recognition of Haunted Girl: Esther Cox & the Great Amherst Mystery
2015 – present
Optioned by motion picture by Canadian director/screenwriter Larysa Kondrakci
Finalist for Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
Cumberland County Facts and Folklore
Cumberland County is one of Nova Scotia’s oldest and largest counties and its personalities, history, geography, natural life, and legends are second to none. Its shores are touched by the majestic Bay of Fundy and the beautiful Northumberland Strait, its landscape was carved by glaciers, and its prehistoric climate created and preserved fossils that today are worthy of UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
For Amherst to Advocate, Minudie to Malagash, Port Hoe to Port Greville, the beauty of its forests, crystal-clear lakes and rivers, and pastoral scenery are a delight for visitors and locals alike.
Discover the incredible part of Nova Scotia through amusing anecdotes, fun facts and quirky trivia in Cumberland County Facts and Folklore.