Demon Spirit, Devil Sea

Demon Spirit, Devil Sea takes Mara Tusconi to Haida Gwaii, an archipelago fifty miles off British Columbia. The U.N. has asked the Maine Oceanographic Institute’s Mara, Harvey, and Ted to investigate why and how the Haida people were duped out of $1million for a scheme – dumping thousands of pounds of iron slurry illegally into international waters off their coast – that would not stimulate salmon runs or generate money from carbon credits as promised. Mara struggles to square her very real experiences with spiritual events and denial that such things exist. Besides that, her new relationship with colleague Ted McKnight, feels claustrophobic – like she can’t breathe. But how can she explain this without alienating Ted, a terrific guy and friend? Mara’s personal issues are eclipsed when a big-hearted, young Haida man who saved Mara’s life suddenly ends up dead in a hot pool.As in Cold Blood, Hot Sea the story is based on historical fact.

Demon Spirit, Devil Sea will be published in May 2017.

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In this excerpt from Chapter One, Mara describes Haida Gwai after a kayak misadventure:

I drank in the seascape as the kayak slid through blue-green ripples tipped in silver that reached the western horizon. I let loose my hair and whooped as the salty breeze whipped it behind. To glide through this maze of islands and bays completely beyond the reach of manmade noise like traffic or neon, halogen, and every other kind of artificial light—this was a sea kayaker’s dream.

I could turn my back, for now, on the dangerous, indifferent sea.

To port, a flank of moss-draped cedars hid the rest of Augustine’s dripping rainforest. Gusts of wind bathed me in rich, earthy perfume. I stopped paddling, closed my eyes, and filled my lungs with the manna of life and time.

Early Reviews

Demon Spirit, Devil Sea, the novel in Charlene D’Avanzo’s Maine Oceanography Mystery series, captures the essence of our changing world as it brings a fascinating culture and ecology into readers’ hearts. The story takes place in one of the largest intact temperate rainforests on Earth, Haida Gwaii off British Columbia’s coast, where the Haida Nation has lived for thousands of years and the author has kayaked.

The novel opens readers’ eyes to a beautiful, mysterious, and threatened rainforest as a climate change crime is investigated by marine biologist Mara Tusconi, who readers will want to see more of in the future. D’Avanzo has written an enchanting tale from an ancient corner of the Earth. Demon Spirit, Devil Sea is a mysterious, fast-paced novel that immerses reader smack dab in the wild.
– Mary Woodbury, curator at and owner of Moon Willow Press

Maine oceanographer Mara Tusconi switches coasts and encounters plenty of peril in Charlene D’Avanzo’s second cli-fi mystery, Demon Spirit, Devil Sea. The suspicious death of a young Haida tribal leader on an island off the coast of British Columbia leads Mara deep into the political intrigue of the Haida people, making for a compelling page-turner that also provides a fascinating peephole into the world of ocean science and climate change.

– Scott Graham, author of the National Parks Mystery Series

Jam-packed with fascinating science, this suspenseful novel delivers as an entertaining and enlightening read. Our endangered earth is in good hands with Charlene D’Avanzo.
– Meg Little Reilly, author of We Are Unprepared

Oceanographer Mara takes you into the rough waters of Haida Gwaii where the turbulence on the water isn’t the only challenge she faces.
– Emily Jackson, co-founder of Jackson Kayaks, two-time World Champion Freestyle Kayaker