Labor union attorney Susan Stoner has published the fourth in a series of historical mystery novels that tell the story of a fictional trade union spy in early 1900s Portland.
In Black Drop, President Theodore Roosevelt is journeying cross-country by train to Portland. While detective Sage Adair investigates a white slavery ring, he learns of a plot to assassinate the president and frame union leaders for the killing. Though characters and scenarios are fictional, the settings are real and are based on Stoner’s extensive historical research into Portland’s seedy underbelly and the trade union politics of the era.
Timber Beasts, the first in the series, deals with the savage exploitation of loggers. Land Sharks, the second, has to do with the Portland “underground,” where men were shanghaied and placed in service aboard ocean-going ships bound for China. Dry Rot, the third volume, features a losing strike and a true-to-life story of construction fraud that led to the collapse of a city bridge.
The series is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Sam’s Club, or at unionized Powells Books.
READING: Stoner, who is staff attorney at Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, will read from Black Drop June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland.