Winner of the “2014 San Diego Book Awards for Best Published Mystery, Sisters in Crime.”
Pure Lies is a story about two women, separated by three centuries but connected by a legacy of greed, depravity and deceit--a legacy which threatens to make them both victims of the Salem witch trials. 1692, Salem, Massachusetts Born in a time and place of fierce religious fervor, 16-year old Felicity Dale has only endless church meetings and the drudgery of chores to look forward to. When her friends begin accusing neighbors of witchcraft, she fears the devil is in Salem. By chance, however, she discovers that the accusations of her “afflicted” friends are false. What had begun as a youthful diversion has been twisted through seduction and blackmail by powerful men into a conspiracy for profit. Nineteen people will pay with their lives. Today, Washington, D.C. Maggie Thornhill is a renowned digital photographer in Georgetown who possesses a passion for history. As her Ph.D. dissertation, Maggie takes on a project to electronically archive the original documents from the Salem witch trials. She observes discrepancies in the handwriting of the magistrate’s signature on certain land deed transfers -- land that belonged to the witches. When a professor studying the documents is murdered, she begins to suspect that the trials and hangings were a result of simple mortal greed not religious superstition. Using digital technology, Maggie links the past with the present. Clues from an ancient poem lead her to a diary written by a young woman in Salem, 1692. As she reads the fragile pages, Maggie feels a powerful bond with the teenager. Felicity Dale had the courage to sacrifice her life in order to save her soul. Now, more than three hundred years later, Maggie must stay alive long enough to bring Felicity’s story -- and the truth about the Salem witch trials, to light.