Do you love the forensic science behind true crime? I am fascinated by it and when I found out that Carrie Stuart Parks was a forensic artist, I was instantly intrigued by what stories she would craft.
A bit more about Carrie Stuart Parks
Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy, Carol, Inspy award-winning author, and she was a 2019 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in mainstream mystery/suspense and has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create award-winning dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.
Mentored by New York Times best-selling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie began writing fiction while battling stage II breast cancer. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling through the effects of cancer.
Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs both showing and as an AKC judge.
My thanks to Fresh Fiction for having a Bio of her on their website! It was hard to find information on her anywhere as her website and social media sites don’t seem to be updated often. But her forensic class schedule is updated regularly which I found very helpful!
The Gwen Marcey Series was her first series and follows a forensic artist!
1. A Cry From the Dust:
A 19th-century conspiracy is about to be shattered by a 21st-century forensic artist.
In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day—but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims.
When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn’t expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life.
But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror. As evidence of a cover-up mounts—a cover-up spanning the entire history of the Mormon church—Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs.
Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself?
2. The Bones Will Speak:
A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.
3. When Death Draws Near:
Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.
Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.
Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?
In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.
4. Portrait of Vengeance:
An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out . . .
Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?
No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.
As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.
Stand Alone Novels by Carrie Stuart Parks
Formula of Deception:
An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.
After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.
The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.
As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?
Fragments of Fear:
Evelyn McTavish’s world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.
Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she was commissioned to draw the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner—but she arrives only to discover John’s murdered body.
As Evelyn herself becomes a target, she crosses paths with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. The more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he becomes in keeping her safe. Together, they’re desperate to find the links between so many disparate pieces.
Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that’s worth killing for. And the clock is ticking.
Relative Silence: A powerful family with dark secrets.
After personal tragedy, Piper Boone retreats to her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the wealthy Boone family, who are practically American royalty. When catastrophe strikes, her family is put in the spotlight, and the line between victim and suspect gets blurred.
A forensic artist with his own haunting past.
Tucker Landry is drawn to Piper in the midst of the trauma, but the connections being made to her family might prove to be their undoing. With a hurricane beating down on the private island, there isn’t much time to find answers.
The truth will determine whether she lives or dies.
Woman in Shadow:
A woman off the grid.
Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and strange problems at the ranch begin to escalate, and Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.
A town on fire.
More fires erupt around town, and a serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars her work has caused her are also the reason she’s trying to escape her life.
A growing darkness.
As the shadows continue moving in, pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. To make it out alive, Darby must decide if she can trust the one man who sees her clearly.
Her carefully crafted life is about to be demolished.
After a difficult childhood, Samantha Williams craves simplicity: jigsaw puzzles, lectures at the library, and the students she adores in her role as an elementary school art teacher in the dusty farming community of LaCrosse, Washington.
But when an SUV crashes into the building where she teaches, her entire world is upended. Samantha manages to keep the children safe, but her car isn’t so lucky. Oddly, her purse—with her driver’s license, credit cards, and other identification—is missing from the wreckage.
After authorities discover that the driver in the accident was shot seconds before the crash, Samantha quickly becomes entangled in increasingly strange events that have her constantly looking over her shoulder.
Samantha has long tried to forget the tragedy of her past, but the twisting connections she discovers between the murdered driver, a deadly secret government project, and an abandoned town can’t be ignored. Those involved are determined to keep these secrets buried, and they’ll use any means necessary to stop Samantha’s search for truth.
As I learn more and more about Carrie Stuart Parks I am all the more impressed by the work she does and the way she writes her characters. I hope you enjoy her books as much as I do! However, if you are in the mood for a pallet cleanser I suggest rereading the Anne of Green Gables series or a sweet small-town romance by Denise Hunter.