New Year New Voices: Roanoke Ridge

New Year New Voices: Roanoke Ridge

Posted on January 28 by J.J. Dupuis in Fiction, Mystery, Recent Releases
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Hello Canada,


Is 2020 the right time to publish a Bigfoot murder mystery? Is there ever a wrong time?


Roanoke Ridge: A Creature X Mystery was born out of that basic desire to understand one's world and what exists beyond our comfort zones. As a species, we love mysteries because the unknown represents chaos and we are driven to seek resolutions. Often, however, we choose the easiest solution to comprehend, not necessarily the correct one. It's because of this that I wanted to incorporate scientific skepticism into a murder mystery series.

    For all of our combined knowledge and technology, we still live in a world where magical thinking and jumping to conclusions leads many of us down the path of superstition or conspiracy. In a world of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, it is more important than ever to have a methodology to determine what is fact and what is fiction. As a writer, and someone constantly trying to live a skeptical life based on empirical evidence, it seemed like a good moment to weave fiction and skepticism together, in hopes that the experience it creates both satisfies the reader and encourages them to view the world differently.

We live at a time where almost every member of our society has access to a wealth of scientific research, facts, and figures, and yet we’re seeing a strong anti-science current polluting discussions about subjects such as climate change, nuclear power, or vaccination.  Why we believe what we believe in the face of facts that run contrary to our biases is an endless source of fascination to me as a writer.

     The world of cryptozoology is an odd marriage of science and magical thinking, making it fertile soil for mystery fiction. The drive to understanding what lurks in the deep woods or deep waters seems written into our DNA; cryptozoology shows us that this desire is not limited to researchers employed by universities, but by everyday people who believe there are more creatures out there than are listed in standard taxonomies.

               In this way, the field is a kindred spirit to the mystery genre, with its long history of amateur sleuths. Just as the amateur sleuth has few resources but their own wits, and little in the way of authority, the cryptozoologist is driven not by a paycheque but a deep and primal curiosity. As if the tension between the professional and amateur camps wasn’t enough, in either science or law enforcement, the internal tension between striking out on one’s own versus letting the professionals handle a problem has always intrigued me. These conflicting ideas and emotions are at the heart of Roanoke Ridge.

               It is my hope that this year will bring with it a greater shift toward scientific skepticism, not to strip away the wonder that surrounds mysteries, but to equip us with the tools to solve them and move on to the next. There will always be more to understand, either in the deep woods or deep within ourselves.   


JJ Dupuis




J.J. Dupuis

Posted by Kendra on June 4, 2019
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J.J. Dupuis

J.J. Dupuis writes fiction, poetry, and satire. When not in front of a computer, he can be found haunting the river valleys of Toronto, where he lives and works.