Hi! My name is Claire Conover and I’m a child welfare social worker at the Department of Human Services (DHS) in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m thirty years old and I’ve been doing this job—longer than I can remember. Most days are pretty routine. I do the initial investigations when a call comes in about a child in danger. I visit the child, assess the situation, get them medical help and shelter if needed. It sounds more horrific then it really is. I get to work with a lot of wonderful children. It’s a state job, so there is more paperwork than anyone should have to do, ever, and that takes up a lot of my time. That, and court appearances for reviews.
Some days aren’t as routine. I remember I had this one case last summer. The child’s name was Michael Hennessy and he was not quite two. He was poisoned. The cops were a hundred percent sure that his mother had killed him but I knew that couldn’t be true. Ashley had gotten herself clean and worked two jobs to get her son back after DHS removed him. She loved him more than anything. Seeing her behind bars was tough, so I had to figure out what happened. That turned into a big mess that didn’t get me in good favor with my bosses, either.
And last September I had a case that kept me frantic. The police picked up a girl who was sleeping behind a grocery store. I picked her up and got her into foster care, and then she disappeared. Her mother turned up murdered, so I had to find her and figure out what was going on.
In the midst of all this I try to have a life. I’m very close to my father, Christopher, who is a therapist here. He was a Freedom Rider back in the sixties and he’s an advocate for anything that needs advocating for—anti-war, the environment, racial equality, you get the idea. I have a boyfriend, Grant Summerville, who I met while investigating Michael’s death. It’s a new relationship and we are feeling our way through it. Then there’s Kirk Mahoney. He’s a reporter that just about drove me over the edge in the Hennessy case. He always seems to be around when I don’t need him. But boy, he’s smokin’ hot.
My cases are being turned into books that I hope you will check out and enjoy. I’d like to thank Dru Ann for letting me introduce myself today. She’s amazing and it’s been fun!
You can read more about Claire in Little Girl Gone, the second book in the “Claire Conover” mystery series.
Claire Conover is back in the sequel to Little Lamb Lost. She has taken a 13-year-old girl into custody after she is found sleeping behind a grocery store. The girl’s murdered mother is found at a construction site owned by a family friend, then the girl disappears. Her mother worked in an illegal gambling industry in Birmingham. Things only get more complicated from there. Is it possible the girl pulled the trigger? She doesn’t have a lot of street smarts, so where could she have run? Claire has to find the answers, and the girl, fast.
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Meet the author
Margaret Fenton grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and moved to Birmingham in 1996. She received her B.A. in English from the Newcomb College of Tulane University, and her Master of Social Work from Tulane. Fenton spent nearly ten years as a child and family therapist before taking a break to focus on her writing. Her work tends to reflect her interest in social causes and mental health, especially where kids are concerned. She serves as planning coordinator of Murder in the Magic City, a one-day, one-track annual mystery fan conference in Homewood, Alabama. She is President of the Birmingham Chapter of Sisters in Crime and a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Margaret lives in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover with her husband, a software developer.
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