In her debut novel, Ms. Barratt uses her family’s cranberry-growing heritage to create an early 20th century murder mystery that takes place in northern Wisconsin. The leading personalities in Blood: the Color of Cranberries are from Chicago, a Wisconsin farming community and an Ojibwe reservation. It took forty years for these diverse characters to understand that a murder or “mysterious accident” had taken place in 1919. Each had their reasons to delay its discovery. She conveys the hardships of early cranberry cultivation, before the use of chemical herbicides, when harvesting was a community activity, prior to sprinkler systems, which are used today to protect against frost. She recounts how logging the pinery affected the Ojibwe people and changed the terrain of the upper Midwest, while expressing the serenity and wildness of the North Woods of Wisconsin, where neighbors are few and mosquitoes are many; where loons provide your morning wake-up call and whip-poor-wills won’t let you sleep at night.