"Most archaeologists, including myself, rarely have the time or the inclination to read historical novels, particularly those whose themes are archaeology. There are so many errors in the research or the stories are so unrealistic that it is difficult to truly enjoy reading. But The Coffins was the exception. Not only is it a successful blend of historical research and local ethnography, it is a true page-turning crime thriller. Think Sue Grafton meets Ivor Noel Hume. It is historical fiction as it should be written. A great read!"
Dr. Charles Ewen, Director of the Phelps Archaeology Lab,
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Andrea Warren, the highly resourceful heroine of Dunn's layered mystery, moves back home with her mother in North Carolina after a whistle-blowing scandal forces her to give up her aspirations of being an archeologist and her engagement goes up in smoke. With few plans and little to lose, she indulges her interest in the area's history and begins in earnest to learn more about her father, who was of Native American descent and, allegedly, committed suicide when Andrea was a child. Andrea's late mother once revealed that she kept a trunk full of her husband's possessions that she has never had the emotional strength to open. Upon going through its contents, Andrea learns of her family's connection to the lost colony of Roanoke Island and becomes increasingly aware of the uncanny powers she has inherited. Paranormal elements and chapters told from the perspectives of Andrea's ancestors do little to enhance the story, and the denouement slips into a tone of grandiloquence. Still, readers who relish unsolved historical mysteries will enjoy the sense of uncovering the secrets of the past. (BookLife)