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Detective Madison Harper is pulled away from Thanksgiving preparations when a local care worker, Terri Summers, is found dead in her home on the outskirts of Lost Creek, Colorado. Terri’s inconsolable mother can’t understand who would hurt such a kind soul who had dedicated her life to helping others. But analysis of the blood spatter at the scene indicates Terri knew her attacker, that she looked them right in the eye before her life was taken.

The awkward way Terri’s body is positioned catches Madison’s attention. Carefully moving her, she finds a bracelet—possibly a child’s—with a single red bead clenched in the woman’s fist, as if she was hiding it. It’s the lead Madison so desperately needs, but the sudden death of one of her own team sends the investigation into a tailspin.

With her coworkers crumbling around her, Madison must work day and night to trace the bracelet and crack the case.


Wendy Dranfield recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, GONE TO HER GRAVE:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

I came up with the plot first, which takes place in the small town where my lead detective and her team live: Lost Creek, Colorado. This being book 4 in the Detective Madison Harper series, the characters are already shaped.

Wendy Dranfield

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

I was struck down with COVID while writing this book, and it set me back more than I expected. When you take a break in the middle of writing a novel, it’s easy to lose your momentum and forget everything that’s already happened and everything you had planned. Luckily, I make copious notes as I write!

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

Although the book starts with a brand-new homicide, the team is also investigating a cold case. Six years ago, a woman and her grandson vanished, never to be heard from again. Detective Madison Harper has to work on both cases at the same time, all while dealing with the sudden death of a fellow officer.



Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives with her husband and three rescue cats. Her first novel was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then, she has written two crime series—the latest follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

Wendy is active on social media with updates about her books, her characters, and her cats!

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.