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Death forgot to come for me, just as for Emily Dickenson. So instead of looking for him, I write books.


Since my mother was a librarian, the Ryerson Library in Grand Rapids was our second home, hers and mine. I fell in love with literature at an early age. Even before I learned to read, I would sit in the children's room happily leafing through picture books while Mother chatted with cronies from her working days. On learning to read, I went through all the Oz books--there must have been at least ten of them--and was one of the first ever to read Winnie the Pooh. I could quote by heart all the poems in A Child's Garden of Verses--and still can.

By age twelve I was reading Jules Verne and writing books about fabulous cities under the sea. By age sixteen I'd discovered Agatha Christie and read her books as they came out. After a serious set-to with my parents who didn't want me to go to a big, impersonal university, and had instead picked out for me a "nice" denominational college which I scorned, I enrolled at the University of Michigan.

I graduated in 1943 with a specialty in creative writing. I taught at the University of Arizona and Ohio University, as well as serving as Director Of Religious Education at my church in San Diego. For thirty years I worked with agent Bertha Klausner as reader and ghost writer. I published my first story in a national magazine while still in college, and my first in Redbook in 1965--the same year I published my first novel, The Wind Dies at Sunrise.  A great start--but no follow-through. Bad mistake.

Busy with husband, children, teaching, writing for Bertha, and working as Night Director of San Diego's Big Sister Home, I neglected my own writing. I started again in 2002, after a cancer operation put a stop to my many other activities. By then I'd been forgotten and had to start over--no agent, no publisher. I chose the POD route with iUniverse, and then moved on to Createspace and Kindle. It's been fun; I wouldn't have missed a moment of it, even the mistaken ones.

Birth Place: Grand Rapids, MI USA

Accomplishments: I twice won Honorable Mention from the San Diego Book Awards. My most recent book, Dorothea in the Mirror, was chosen Mystery of the Month by Pacific Book Review for March, 2010.


Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery by Lois Wells Santalo
Newly graduated and lacking experience in social work, Jill Szekely is hired as Acting Director of a crisis house for women. A murder occurs on her first day of work....

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.comiuniverse.com 

Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor by Lois Wells Santalo
Death came for me in 2001 in the form of pancreatic cancer. Doctors advised against surgery due to my age--but I felt that even an extra year or two is worth fighting and suffering for. Now it's been ten years and counting. Oops includes a description of the operation and recovery along with my thoughts, memories, and experiences at the time. My hope is that it may also prove inspirational to thos...

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.comiUniverse.com 

The Women of Stormland by Lois Wells Santalo
How can one person bring himself to enslave another? One way is to denigrate the enslaved person as less than human. Ashley Pennington, of mixed race, knows this trauma in her own soul. Ashley has faced a lifetime of struggle to find her place in society. Does she belong in the black world or the white? Sent by her family to learn about her white roots, she must live with relatives less than e...

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.comiuniverse.com 

I'll Meet You in Syracuse by Lois Wells Santalo
A follow-up story about Del Kingsley, who has married the wrong man, and on realizing the fact, has become a runaway bride. In this sequel, she contacts her real love and tries to right the wrongs of her life....

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.com 

Dorothea in the Mirror, a Jill Szekely mystery by Lois Wells Santalo
It seems the ultimate irony that Jewish pianist Zoltan Szekely is arrested for the murder of Dorothea Granger. Has he escaped Hitler's grim assault only to become enmeshed in the American legal system? The police feel they have incrontovertible evidence that they have found their murderer. Only Zoltanm's estranged wife, Jill, is in a position to pursue an investigation that might prove his innocen...

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.comiuniverse.com 

The House of Music by Lois Wells Santalo
Opera star Philippe Weintrob of Vienna shares with an American woman a recurring dream of a house of music where groups regularly perform. Philippe is convinced this means they shared a former life and love, but she can generate no memories of any such former connection....

Price: $3.99 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Amazon.com 

The Brook Farm Murders, a Jill Szekely mystery by Lois Wells Santalo
Within an hour of Jill's arrival at the university, her old friend Renee Corliss goes missing, taking one of her children with her and abandoning the other child. This is doubly puzzling since Renee had looked forward to visiting with Jill....

Price: $3.50 (eBook)
Kindle (eBook),  Click here to buy this book!
Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com 

Petoskey Stones by Lois Wells Santalo
In the second and third generation of women who grew up in the house called Stormland, there is much dysfunction. Rebellious Della Eloise, or Weezy, the grandchild of young Edgar, had been kidnapped away from the family by her mother and resents the fact. Cousin Del had fled a mother-arranged marriage to go and work in New York. The cousins meet on a train and travel together to a family reunion...

Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.comiuniverse.com 


Words Fail Me: The Harrowing Life of Caregivers and How it Comes About
 by Lois Wells Santalo
It is very hard for younger people to understand and adapt to the problems of aging. But the frustrations are no less difficult when viewed from the other side....


 by Lois Wells Santalo
Professional Book Review...

The Third Jill Szekely Mystery Is Out
 by Lois Wells Santalo
On receiving her Masters Degree, Jill is offered a job as substitute Director of a women's shelter which is in crisis mode and a good place for a murder....

New Publication just out
 by Lois Wells Santalo
It's ten years and counting since I survived pancreatic cancer, one of the first ever to do so. I celebrated with a new edition of Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor, which describes the operation and sub...


Lois Wells Santalo
I have placed background material about myself on my website and will soon be posting Chapter One of my new novel, The Brook Farm Murders.

The Joy of Writing
Most of my blogs stay on that site, though some are transfered to the above website.

Midwest Book Review
I have had several book reviews published at this website. Most were in recent months and may be found under Reviewers' Bookwatch/Reviewer's Choice.

UM Alumnus
The University of Michigan has been very good about publicizing my books as I publish them. I have a page with them.

Additional information

I have a new mystery, The Brook Farm Murders, recently published by Createspace, and available both in soft cover and Kindle. I have also put out a new edition of my memoirs, Oops I Lost My Sense of Humor,about my recovery from breast and pancreatic cancer. Oops is available from iUniverse and also from Amazon.

Contact Information

9687 Misty Meadow Lane 
Escondido,   CA   92026  

 Lois Wells Santalo
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Member Since: Jan, 2011

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