I’m a Massachusetts-based fiction writer, journalist, and farmer. I have published over a thousand news and feature articles in BusinessWeek, Inc. Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Hollywood Reporter, Baby Talk and dozens of other publications. My short fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Charles River Review, and the anthology Turning Points: Stories of Choice and Change. I hold a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Harvard University Extension School. I workshopped my first novel, THE POACHERS’ CODE — a 90,000-word upmarket suspense novel — in GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator, a year-long, MFA-level novel intensive.
Four degrees changed everything. The rise in summer temperatures led to drought, an invasive beetle infestation, wildfires, crop failure, farm foreclosures, migrant farm worker job losses, and a widening racial rift in a small New Hampshire town. Even worse, that four-degree bump prompted the discovery of a body one entomologist hoped no one would ever find.
Sadie Kessler, an entomologist with the forestry department, races to halt a forest fire, but when fire crews unearth a long-buried body, Sadie must confront the murder she covered up as a child before an innocent man is convicted–or worse, deported–because of her silence. The narrative unfolds in two timelines, from the perspectives of Sadie at ages eleven and thirty-eight. THE POACHERS’ CODE (read more about it here) will appeal to fans of All the Missing Girls, History of Wolves, Red Lightning, and The Dry.
“Intricate and brilliantly crafted, THE POACHERS’ CODE gives new spark to a classic mystery set-up: A decades old murder and cover-up, but instead set against the backdrop of the threat of wildfire and the timely topic of illegal immigration. Julie Dalton writes with grace, passion, and obvious ecological expertise. I haven’t read a mystery novel this smart or surprising in a long time.” — Kate Moretti, NYT bestselling author of THE VANISHING YEAR and THE BLACKBIRD SEASON.
“Both a timely and timeless literary mystery, THE POACHERS’ CODE is as seductive as it is smart, blending the allure of Julie Dalton’s beloved rural New Hampshire setting with the dark undercurrents of a community’s racial divisions and betrayals. This is a story of love, of home, of friendship and family, of a childhood’s innocence and an adult’s comeuppance, all of which are in the line of fire in this beauty of a page turner.” — Michelle Hoover, award-winning author of BOTTOMLAND and THE QUICKENING.
“I marvel when I come across a book that is at once timely and timeless, and that’s just what Julie Carrick Dalton’s The Poachers’ Code manages to be. It’s a novel that burns–figuratively and literally–with sharp prose and uncommon wisdom. The world needs more books like this, and more writers as thoughtful and conscientious as Ms. Dalton. Do yourself a favor and have a look for yourself.” —Peter Geye, award-winning literary suspense author of WINTERING and THE LIGHTHOUSE ROAD
“THE POACHERS’ CODE is a fresh and engaging tale of the lasting effects of childhood secrets that also provides a fascinating and clear-eyed look at climate change and undocumented immigration. I did not want the story to end.”— Kelli Estes, USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK
“In The Poacher’s Code, Julie Carrick Dalton takes on big themes—climate change, immigration, and racism—and weaves them into a satisfying mystery, as Sadie moves between present and past to unravel a secret that has haunted her since childhood. Within the mystery is a coming of age story, and it is in those quiet moments where Dalton shines. Timely and beautifully written, Dalton’s debut hits every mark.” — Kim Savage, author of AFTER THE WOODS, BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS, and IN HER SKIN.
An active mother of four, I love to travel, ski, kayak, cook vegetarian food, and dig in the dirt. I own and operate the 100 Acre Wood Farm, which is home to eight gorgeous horses (although I don’t own any of them) and lots of organic fruits and veggies.