Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What-I'm-Reading-Wednesday: Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

 Quiet Dell is the spell-binding, fictional account of a murder that shook the nation. Jayne Anne Phillips found the newspaper account of the grisly murder of a widow and her three small children. A con man lured Asta Eicher, a wealthy widow, to her fate through a series of love letters in the early thirties in the small town Quiet Dell close to Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Most of the novel is narrated by Emily Thornhill, a Chicago journalist, who travels to West Virginia to cover the story for her newspaper. During the investigation and trial, the reader learns that Harry Powers seduced and murdered other women.

Briefly mentioned in her first novel, Machine Dreams, the crime and its effect on the Clarksburg community is recounted with detail in Quiet Dell, currently displayed with new books on Floor 3.  

Details of the trial were included in a New York Times article on December 11, 1931. Access is available at the Ort Library on Proquest Historical New York Times database at the link below:

 POWERS CONVICTED; HE FACES HANGING. (1931, Dec 11). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from

The Ort Library has nine earlier works by Jayne Anne Phillips available on Floor 5 in the PS3566.H479 area. 

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