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Lois Wells Santalo

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Member Since: Jan, 2011

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Books
· I'll Meet You in Syracuse

· The House of Music

· Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery

· The Brook Farm Murders, a Jill Szekely mystery

· Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor

· Petoskey Stones

· The Women of Stormland


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· Words Fail Me: The Harrowing Life of Caregivers and How it Comes About


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· NEW BOOK REVIEW by AuthorsDen

· The Third Jill Szekely Mystery Is Out

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Dorothea in the Mirror, a Jill Szekely mystery
by Lois Wells Santalo   


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Books by Lois Wells Santalo     View all 8
· Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery
· Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor
· The Women of Stormland


Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  1440190917 Type:  Fiction
Pages: 

234

Copyright:  Feb 3. 2010 ISBN-13:  9781440190919


Price: $3.99 (eBook)
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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 innocence. But Jill, disillusioned by years of struggle to make their marriage work in the face of a musicians poverty, has left him. Will she come through for him after all?

This book is character-driven rather than action-packed. Immigrants in flight from Hitler, the Szekelys were not part of the huddled masses longing to breathe free. They were highly educated people; their gifted son Zoltan, a concert pianist since the age of eight, had performed with symphony orchestras and entertained the troops during WWII. It was hard to think of such people in connection with murder. Yet by a twist of fate, after their years of flight, of adjustment to a new land, of struggles to relate to their children's American spouses, they find themselves involved when their son is arrested for murder.

The Szekely parents and son are not the only people to suffer from this situation. Zoltan's wife Jill, who'd at first loved the New York/Juilliard ambiance of music, has grown tired ot the perpetual economies. At first she found it fun to be part of that musical world, to listen to the groups, the quartets and trios that got together each weekend to perform for the sheer love of it, and for the students from Juilliard and nearby Columbia who chose to come and listen. She loved hosting those musical soirees in her tiny one-room studio, where people sat on the bed or the floor just to hear the music, and brought with them treats in the form of wine and exotic goodies. But there could be no question of ever having children; there was simply no money available to allow her to quit her job even for a few weeks. And when the couple were finally driven to hitchhike home from a grandiose concert with a symphony orchestra, complete with tails, formal gown and socialites in glittering array,  it all became too much and she decided to leave.

Then came the call telling her Zoltan was arrested, and his parents, already once victimized, were falling apart and couldn't help. It would be up to her. Her roommate considered her crazy to get involved--but after all, she really did love Zoltan. Should she return?

Even the cop, Cody, wrestled with this situation. It simply seemed too improbable, it went against all he thought he knew of character--yet there it was. The evidence was incontrovertable. It was his first case of his own and he literally could find no alternative suspect.

And who was the mysterious child who turned up in the case?




Excerpt

1948
The call came an hour before quitting time. My boss at Columbia University's Butler Library waved me to the phone, saying, "For you, Mrs. Szekely." Puzzling as to who would bother me at work, I concealed my annoyance and barked out my hello.

In a sepulchral voice my estranged husband, Zoltan, said, "Jill, Dorothea has been murdered." Before I could do more than gasp in surprise, he added, "The police seem to think I had something to do with it. I'm being held for questioning."

Professional Reviews
Review: Dorothea in the Mirror
Lois Wells Santalo embellishes character development to a fine art in her novel, Dorothea in the Mirror. With extraordinary skill, Santalo brings the reader into the post-war era of New York, in the predominantly Jewish community comprised of refugees from the Nazi regime takeover of Eastern Europe. She introduces and describes her characters with the conversational techniques so ever prsent in discussing people of that time and place...Integrity and honesty of the Jewish immigrants were commonplace characteristics...The unraveling of the mystery leads a path through events and clandestine motives, a journey including a psychic vision, and brings to life the sensations of a generation of people scared from the carnate overseas.
What struck me most impressively is Santalo's clarity with her characters. Her talent as an author to bring her people to life, using superbly appropriate dialogue, embellishing each with a sober background of where the person came from, made me truly believe in the reality of the characters...Whereas many novels tend to rely on action, location, or even sex to maintain interest, I believe Lois Santalo's depth of character development is truly her forte. Her writing has more than intelligent; she laces wisdom throughout the pages. In the unpretentious life of people renting rooms and sharing common areas, amidst the modesty of working people always on timeand respectful of their roles, people back then barely fulfilled their needs however kept their mental development unrestrained. Never yielding determination and adhering to their intrinsic values, her characters formed indelible memories in my mind. This may be the best compliment I can say about a book--something that makes me very pleased to have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Lois Santalo through her writing of her fictional deceased character, Dorothea, and all that followed in the wake of her murder.
(Gary Sorkin, reviewer)


Reviewer's Bookwatch
The search for truth can often find itself going in the wrong direction. "Dorothea in the Mirror" tells the story of Zoltan Szekely, who escaped Hitler's oppression only to find himself caught in the American legal system that finds Zoltan a suspect of murder, with strong evidence.His parents struggle to prove his innocence, fighting their own faith to do so. "Dorothea in the Mirror" is a riveting mystery read, recommended.

Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review
Lois Wells Santalo embellishes character development to a fine art in her novel, Dorothea in the Mirror: A Jill Szekely Mystery. With extraordinary skill, Santalo brings the reader into the post-war era of New York, in the predominately Jewish community comprised of refugees from the Nazi regime takeover of Eastern Europe. She introduces and describes her characters with the conversational techniques so ever present in discussing people of that time and place. People then talked about a person by bringing into the picture their family, their profession or skill, and their age pursuant to goals of raising a family. Integrity and honesty of the Jewish immigrants were commonplace characteristics, and for a talented pianist, Zoltan Szekely to be the prime suspect of a murder, things didn't add up. However the evidence did. The unraveling of the mystery leads a path through events and clandestine motives, a journey including a psychic vision, and brings to life the sensations of a generation of people scared from the carnage overseas.

What struck me most impressively is Lois Santalo's clarity with her characters. Her talent as an author to bring her people to life, using superbly appropriate dialog, embellishing each with a sober background of where the person came from, made me truly believe in the reality of the characters. In fact, at times I thought she was writing about people she knew and the story was real! That's how well she carried me into her book. Whereas many novels tend to rely on action, location, or even sex to maintain interest, I believe Lois Santalo's depth of character development is truly her forte. Her writing has more than intelligence; she interlaces wisdom throughout the pages. In the unpretentious lives of people renting rooms and sharing common areas, amidst the modesty of working people always on time and respectful of their roles, people back then barely filled their basic needs however kept their mental development unrestrained. Never yielding determination and adhering to their intrinsic values, her characters formed indelible memories in my mind. This may be the best compliment I can say about a book – something that makes me very pleased to have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Lois Santalo through her writing of her fictional deceased character Dorothea, and all that followed in the wake of her murder.

For those who love mysteries, this book is a must. The classical assumptions of a police investigation are juxtaposed against the unique and unconventional characters resulting in a true page turner. Clad in a cover photo of a magnifying glass focusing on a corpse with a toe tag, implying a “Sherlock Holmes” type of thought provoking mystery, this artfully done work is a polished gem. Once you then begin to know Lois Wells Santalo, and learn of her cancer survival and love for writing, you thank heaven for her being able to achieve such a masterful accomplishment.



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Books by
Lois Wells Santalo



Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery

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Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor

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The Women of Stormland

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I'll Meet You in Syracuse

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Dorothea in the Mirror, a Jill Szekely mystery

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Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




The House of Music

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Kindle, Amazon, more..




The Brook Farm Murders, a Jill Szekely mystery

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..



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