Where the Crawdads Sing meets Practical Magic in this engrossing and atmospheric debut that follows young Weatherly Wilder as she uses her unique gift to solve her cousin’s mysterious murder and prove her own innocence, set in the beautiful wilds of Appalachia and imbued with magic realism.

In a small town in rural Georgia, Appalachian roots and traditions still run deep. Folks paint their houses blue to keep the spirits way. Black ferns grow, it’s said, where death will follow. And Weatherly Wilder’s grandmother is a local Granny Witch, relied on for help delivering babies, making herbal remedies, tending to the sick—and sometimes serving up a fatal dose of revenge when she deems it worthy. Hyper-religious, she rules Weatherly with an iron fist; because Weatherly has a rare and covetable gift: she’s a Death Talker. Weatherly, when called upon, can talk the death out of the dying; only once, never twice. But in her short twenty years on this Earth this gift has taken a toll, rooting her to the small town that only wants her around when they need her and resents her backwater ways when they don’t—and how could she ever leave, if it meant someone could die while she was gone?

Weatherly’s best friend and cousin, Adaire, also has a gift: she’s a Scryer; she can see the future reflected back in a dark surface, usually her scrying pan. Right before she’s hit and in a bicycle accident, Adaire saw something unnerving in the pan, that much Weatherly knows, and she is certain this is why the mayor killed her cousin—she doesn’t believe for a moment that it was an accident. But when the mayor’s son lays dying and Weatherly, for the first time, is unable to talk the death of him, the whole town suspects she was out for revenge, that she wouldn’t save him. Weatherly, with the help of Adaire’s spirit, sets out to prove her own innocence and find Adaire’s killer, no matter what it takes.

Publishing June 4, 2024
Pre-order available wherever books are sold.

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“This murder mystery steeped in magic is the perfect summer read.
                —GMA Buzz Pick 

“A spellbinding tale of family secrets, dark magic, and murder.” 
                —Publishers Weekly 

“In the Hour of Crows enchants with its haunting plot and vivid prose, offering a compelling exploration of the human spirit against the backdrop of Appalachia's mystique.” 

In the Hour of Crows enthralls like a delicious dark spell. The story is perfectly set in 1980’s Appalachia, in a tight-knit town that feels ever more mysterious as gifted Weatherly Wilder unearths secrets some folks would rather keep buried. The Death Talker premise is fascinating, as are the codes that compel the magical Wilder family—an intriguing mix of Scottish lore, Appalachian superstition, and biblical doctrines. Elmendorf has written a wildly original debut, an evocative tale about self-identity and growth, the inspiring afterlife of love, and the hazards of using piety to gain power.
            Glendy Vanderah, bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars

In the Hour of Crows has everything I love in a good southern gothic—family drama, earthy magic married with religion, and a sense of coiling, visceral dread. Elmendorf's small Georgia town is both stifling and sensual, filled with characters so realistic you'll swear you've met them before. Enchanting, gritty, and impossible to put down.”
            —Paulette Kennedy, author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

Beautiful, dark, and vulnerable, In the Hour of Crows is a love letter to Appalachia that just might steal your soul. Elmendorf’s authentic Southern voice is lyrical yet haunting, and the page-turning mystery makes this an absolute must-read.”
            —Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Hundred Loves of Juliet

"Utterly unforgettableIn the Hour of Crows is a gorgeous feast for the senses, a Southern midnight wrapped in folk magic and stolen kisses, tenderness and grit. I savored every page, whether it was breaking my heart or taking away my breath. With this book, Dana Elmendorf offers a stunning debut that will leave readers craving more of her deliciously eerie worlds."
            —Heather Demetrios, author of Little Universes