What is a Georgia mountain town to do when “Robin Hood” threatens to kill its mayor and a citizen or two if three thousand Witherstonians don’t donate $5,000 each to rectify the theft of gold and land from the Cherokees two hundred years ago?
Some folks donate. Others take their chances.
One person dies, in Potter’s Woods. The mayor survives an attempt on her life.
Police Chief Mev Arroyo and her sons Jorge and Jaime discover that Potter’s Woods, occupied by the Cherokee people for a thousand years until the 1832 Georgia Land Lottery, is the site of two murders. And that Robin Hood, “feared by the bad, loved by the good,” is connected to both.
Death in Potter's Woods is Betty Jean Craige's fifth Witherston Murder Mystery.
2022 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite in the category of Mystery
Reviews from Readers' Favorite
Review #1: By Pikasho Deka
Review Rating: 5 Stars
. . .
Author Betty Jean Craige takes a unique narrative approach with newspaper clippings, editorials, and letters to the editor serving as primary tools to move the plot forward. Death in Potter's Woods is a page-turner of a murder mystery that incorporates relevant environmental issues plaguing humankind and keeps you hooked with its unexpected twists and turns from start to finish. The plot moves at a blistering pace, with intricately woven threads that converge at the end to create a thoroughly entertaining reading experience. The cast is quite large, but the author provides every character with the necessary agency to keep their arcs compelling and make them an essential part of the story. Anyone who enjoys well-written sleuth stories will find Death in Potter's Woods a blast to read.
Review #2: By Kathy Stickles
Review Rating: 5 Stars
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This is a great mystery and a wonderful addition to the Witherston series. This reader especially loves how the book is tied together by online snippets from the local paper, included as separate chapters in the book. They push the story along by making it even more interesting to hear each of the characters’ views about the trials of Potter’s Woods in the form of Letters to the Editor, town announcements, obituaries, and opinion pieces. This was a very creative way, in my opinion, to keep the action rolling along.
“Death in Potter’s Woods,” combines that long-held belief of Robin Hood—stealing from the rich to aid the poor—with a story of our environment and the large numbers of people who want to spend their time and their money exploiting the earth. I love the story and have found a new author that I definitely want to read more of! I wonder if she can work with anymore of my favorite childhood memories to create new Witherston stories in the future? Definitely “5 Stars!”
A Sneak Peek at Death in Potter's Woods
To the Editor:
Historians have exposed the crime underpinning America’s prosperity: the theft of land, gold, and minerals from the original inhabitants of this continent.
The descendants of Hearty Withers benefitted directly from such theft. Hearty Withers mined successfully for gold in 1828—gold that belonged to the Cherokees—and passed his fortune on to his heirs. His great-great-great grandson, Francis Hearty Withers, III, divided it among the residents of Witherston.
This Christmas Witherston will rectify the injustice done to the Cherokees.
By midnight on Wednesday, December 25, exactly 3,000 of Francis Hearty Withers’s beneficiaries—that’s 75 percent of Witherston’s population—must each contribute $5,000 to the Indigenous Peoples Reparations Initiative, or Mayor Rhonda Rather will die, along with other beneficiaries who do not contribute. I do not jest.
The contribution may be made in either of two ways:
1) Transfer $5,000 to the bank account of “OnlineWitherston” in the Bill-Pay category of Newspapers, Magazines, and Subscriptions, with an email to Amadahy Henderson, Editor; OR
2) Send a check for $5,000 to Amadahy Henderson, Editor, made out to “OnlineWitherston” with the words “For Reparations” in the “For” line.
Amadahy Henderson, if she values the mayor’s life and the life of any other resident of Witherston, will send the money to the Indigenous Peoples Reparations Initiative (c/o Kallik Kootoo, P.O. Box 76992, Juneau, Alaska 99803).
OnlineWitherston will publish daily a list of contributors under the headline “Contributors to Indigenous Peoples Reparations Initiative,” so that everybody will know who contributes.
The $15 million Witherston will raise for IPRI will not adequately reimburse the indigenous peoples for their loss of gold and land to white settlers with guns, but it will be a start. It may be a model.