Books By Michelle Blake
In addition to the three mysteries in the Lily Connor series, Blake has published a chapbook of early poems, Into the Wide and Startling World, in the New Women’s Voices Series by Finishing Line Press. In 2014 she collaborated with the photo-montage artist Fran Forman on a collection of her images, Escape Artist, for which Blake provided a poem to open each section and a fable at the end of the book. To read individually published poems and essays, please visit WRITING.
The Tentmaker is an exciting and thoroughly original debut mystery, featuring Lily James Connor, an Episcopal priest whose passion for the truth forces her to confront the evil hiding in her own church.
Lily has spent the past six months in her native Texas, caring for her father, who was dying of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. After his death, her close friend Bishop Spencer calls from Boston to offer her job as interim pastor for a wealthy parish that has just lost its priest.
Earth Has No Sorrow
EARTH HAS NO SORROW finds Lily Connor, an unusual figure in her jeans, cowboy boots, and clerical collar, running the Women's Center in downtown Boston and serving on an ecumenical council whose purpose is to study anti-Semitism in the church. When one of the council-sponsored events is disrupted by a vitriolic hate crime and a dear friend disappears, Lily gets thrown into a world in which the violent past is all too present.
“…Texas-born Lily Connor, the Episcopalian priest who’s human, intelligent, and caring, returns in this superbly written and compelling novel set during the reflective period of Lent…”
The Book of Light
Lily Connor stares at the photograph of the ancient scroll in front of her, barely believing what she is seeing. If the scroll is what she thinks it is, it can only the Book of Light, a biblical document, thousands of years old, purportedly containing the transcribed words of Jesus. No one has been sure the scroll even exists--it's been hidden away from the eyes of the world all this time. Now it's clear to Lily that there are people who will do anything to keep it that way.
“Michelle Blake’s series about an Episcopal priest…stands out for a couple of reasons—besides the essential one of being written with intelligence and grace…”
- The New York Times Book Review
Into the Wide and Startling World
“In poem after poem, Michelle Blake models, with exquisite attention and honesty, how we might discern what she calls ‘the pattern for happiness.’ That search entails a hard-headed clarity about the ‘unlucky lusts we’ve inherited,’ and leads us, with the poet, to a profound appreciation for the people in our lives. Here is a welcome and vital voice in our poetry.”
Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury, and poetry collections Gold Star Road, Emblem and Noon until Night
“The intelligence and generosity of spirit in Michelle Blake’s poems are felt at all levels. Their delicate music and phrasing, their passionate syntax and exacting imagery allow a reader to participate physically in the process by which discovery is made. This is the kind of poetry Yeats said we believe in: ‘conceived not in the brain, but in the whole body.’”
Debra Nystrom, poet and author of Torn Sky:Poems, Bad River Road and Night Sky Frequencies: New and Selected Poems
Escape Artist: The Art of Fran Forman
In this rich and dreamlike collection of photo-paintings, artist and fabulist Fran Forman offers characters, scenes and visual narratives that lure the imagination. She explores the multiple meanings of the word escape, focusing on the central idea of breaking through the normal barriers of everyday life…The exquisite poems and fable by writer Michelle Blake act as a guidebook to these vast imaginary worlds, suggesting voices for some of the characters and destinations for some of the journeys. All together, the book offers its own particular brand of beauty, one that invites the reader to step outside the known.