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Book Nook: Ashes to Dust, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir


Yrsa Sigurdardottir's latest crime fiction novel "Ashes to Dust" features one of the more unusual murder investigations you'll find. A volcanic eruption in the 1970's covered a community beneath volcanic ash. Forty years later the houses are finally being unearthed. The skeletal remains of some unknown individuals are discovered in the basement of one of the houses.This is rather peculiar because nobody was ever reported to be missing during all this time. Stranger still, there are three skeletons and an extra skull. Who were these people? And what is the story with the extra skull?

Attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir is asked to represent a man who had lived in the house forty years ago. He is under suspicion for the murders of these unknown victims. As Thora delves into the details of the case one of the key witnesses to the events of forty years ago is found dead. Did she kill herself? Or, was she murdered?

In this interview the Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir describes how she devised her plot for this Nordic page turner.  And she tries to demonstrate how to correctly pronounce her last name.


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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.