Press Release for the engaging memoir                                                                  

Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family=s Hidden Past

by Christy Leskovar

September 2011




Imagine while at a quiet family gathering, your aunt happens to mention a fire and a dead body and that your great-grandmother was arrested for murdering your great-grandfather.  After you pick your jaw up off the floor, what do you do?  Of course, you abandon your successful engineering career and go traipsing across the globeBall the way from Butte to Belfast to BelgiumBto find out what happened and write a book about it.   That is what Christy Leskovar did.  Her first book, One Night in a Bad Inn, a High Plains Book Award finalist, tells the true story of what she found out.  Her new book, Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family=s Hidden Past, tells the true story behind how she discovered who started the fire, how the body ended up in the house, why her grandmother was sent to an orphanage when she wasn=t an orphan, what really happened when her grandfather saved that man in the war, and so much more.  Armed with many questions and only a handful of clues, she set off on a quest to solve the mysteries, a quest that led to her family=s ancestral homes in Wales and Ireland, to the coal mines of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to a desolate Montana homestead near Forsyth, to the historic copper mines of Butte, to First World War battlefields in France and Belgium.   After amassing a treasure trove of intriguing stories, Finding the Bad Inn tells how she knit those stories into a compelling book.

AFinding the Bad Inn is the behind-the-scenes detective story; it tells how I discovered where the bodies were buried, literally, in my first book,@ explains Leskovar.  AAs I traveled to all the places in the book, finding the story became as interesting as the story I was findingBI felt as if I were living in a novel discovering all thisBand I decided to write it down.  The two books go together but are independent.  You can read either first.@

Christy Leskovar was born in Butte, Montana, and raised in Kennewick, Washington.  She graduated from Seattle University in 1982 with degrees in mechanical engineering and French.  She then joined Bechtel in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  After stints in Kansas, Barcelona, and San Francisco, she transferred to an assignment in Las Vegas.  It was during a trip to her hometown in 1997 that she heard the story about her great-grandmother, a story so intriguing that she walked away from that secure career and set out on a quest to unravel the mystery and write a book about it. 

Just how does an engineer go from designing nuclear power plants to tracking down a fugitive through history and following the footsteps of a soldier and see his stunning act of heroism explode into an epic fight to the death between massive armies and then write the story such that it doesn=t sound like an engineer wrote it?  ANone of it was easy,@ says Leskovar, ABut it was quite an adventure and a lot of fun.@  To do it, she had to morph into a true-crime detective, archival archeologist, and ground-level historian, becoming a well-traveled sleuth in the process.

AYou never know what you=ll find when you start snooping around in the family closet,@ she says, Asaints, sinners, heros, scoundrels.  I didn=t give it a thought.  I already knew that my great-grandmother Sarah was notorious, and that Grandpa Peter was a war hero, and that Grandma T was a remarkable woman in all she endured, but I didn=t think about what else I might find, or worry about what I might find.@