Welcome to the official website for author Jess Montgomery, who writes gripping historical mysteries featuring strong female leads and compelling themes just as relevant today.
Book One of the Kinship series
Set in 1920s’ Ohio against the backdrop of coal mining, prohibition and women’s rights, The Widows is about two women whose lives collide when the man they both love is murdered. Inspired by the true stories of two historical figures.
Praise for The Widows
“Deeply felt…the feisty female protagonists do their real-life foremothers proud.”
“… A simultaneous examination of women’s rights, coal mining, prohibition, and Appalachian life, make this a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans.”
—Library Journal (Starred Review)
“An engaging debut… Vivid historical details, an intriguing mystery, and strong female characters.”
“Beautifully plotted and filled with believable characters”
“This amazing, thoroughly researched historical novel by debut author Jess Montgomery shows how love, determination, and courage can overcome bitterness, deceit, and violence.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Remarkable…[Montgomery’s] writing is brisk, yet it lingers long enough to indulge readers with beautiful prose along the way.”
“Women’s and workers’ rights, Prohibition, and a murder mystery come together beautifully…The book is impossible to put down or forget.”
“This is a powerful novel: a tale of loss, greed, and violence, and the story of two powerful women who refuse to stand down.”
—Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Ballad
“The Widows is a gripping, beautifully written novel…”
—Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of You’ll Never Know, Dear
“Jess Montgomery is a masterful storyteller. This is a novel about courage and the good hearts of women, and it builds, almost unbearably, to its stunning end.”
—Lee Martin, author of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist The Bright Forever
“Rich with historical details, yet fast paced… it was the vivid voices of Lily and Marvena that completely captivated my heart and kept me reading long into the night.”
—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree
“A rich, empowering, and satisfying read.”
—Jessica Strawser, author of Not That I Could Tell
Jess writes the Kinship series set in 1920s’ Appalachian Ohio. She has won awards for her writing from the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District (Ohio) and the Ohio Arts Council. Jess also directs a writers’ workshop, teaches creative writing, and speaks frequently at writers’ workshops and conferences. To get to know Jess a bit better, read her letter to readers or her official bio.
A few Jess facts:
- Enjoys hiking; has absolutely no sense of direction.
- Finds bats adorable; is terrified of mice.
- Loves tacos; allergic to avocados and thus guacamole.
- Is not in the least afraid of public speaking; terrified of (besides mice) rip tides, swinging bridges, and open-air heights in general.
- Favorite beverages: coffee, sweet tea, and occasionally whiskey on the rocks or an Old Fashioned
- Once flew a plane without any formal training.
- Makes pies for family and friends.
Events, Blog and…
Photo: Jess's office
New!—The Widows was selected as part of Minotaur's Signature Edition trade paperback program, and will be released in trade paperback, with a new introductory essay, on January 7, 2020.
New!—The Hollows will release in hardcover, ebook and audiobook on January 14, 2020.
February 2019—Interview: Mystery Scene Interview with Robin Agnew
January 2019—Interview: Behind the book essay, in BookPage
January 2019—Post: Jungle Reds Blog
January 2019—The Widows is now available!
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