Fiona Lychenko, now a woman in her late sixties, has spent years researching the death of her high school classmate Zara Stanley, who was brutally murdered at the age of twenty. Determined to solve the crime, something the police weren't able to do, Fiona interviewed everyone she could in her hometown of Ripley, but every trail led to the same dead end. She even published her findings in a book, hoping it would lead to anonymous clues from readers and outliers, and still, nothing. Now, a decade later, Fiona has finally given up hope that the killer would ever be caught.
That is until a brown manila envelope turns up under her door and Fiona once again finds herself embroiled in the midst of a controversy so intricate and tangled that one wrong move could be her undoing.
Inspired by the unsolved murder of a young girl in 1962 in Saskatoon, Zara's Dead is the fictional retelling of a very real story, one that has captivated the public and eluded answers for decades.
Sharon Butala is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her classic book The Perfection of the Morning was a #1 bestseller and a finalist for the Governor General's Award. Fever, a short story collection, won the 1992 Authors' Award for Paperback Fiction and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best book (Canada and Caribbean region). Her novel, Wild Rose, also with Coteau, was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Butala is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the 2012 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. In 2002 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.