Victor Depta was born in raised at Buffalo Creek, West Virginia – yes, that Buffalo Creek that was devastated in 1972 when Pittston Coal Company’s coal slurry dam #3 burst, causing a flood that killed over one hundred residents, injured over a thousand, and left over four thousand homeless. Depta is a retired English professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin who has published eleven poetry books, four novels, two plays, two essay collections and a memoir. The protagonist of this novel, the first of a projected multi-volume series, is Dr. Ethel Gooch, who teaches English at an Eastern Kentucky University and is an amateur detective. The action continues when she retires to San Francisco, a setting the author, who earned his masters from San Francisco State, knows well.
Frankfort, Kentucky: Blair Mountain Press, 2019. 320 pages. Trade paperback.