Join | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Dr. Michael De Vito, iJerry Engler, iEileen Granfors, iLori Maynard, iJennifer Miller, iTina Tessina, iJanet Caldwell, i
  Home > Mystery/Suspense > Books

Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry   

Lois Wells Santalo

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 9 titles
· 2 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jan, 2011

   My Blog
   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

· I'll Meet You in Syracuse

· The House of Music

· Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery

· Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor

· Petoskey Stones

· The Women of Stormland

· Dorothea in the Mirror, a Jill Szekely mystery

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

· NEW BOOK REVIEW by AuthorsDen

· The Third Jill Szekely Mystery Is Out

· New Publication just out

Lois Wells Santalo, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.



The Brook Farm Murders, a Jill Szekely mystery
by Lois Wells Santalo   

Share this with your friends on FaceBook
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



Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1456459678 Type:  Fiction


Copyright:  June 10,2011 ISBN-13:  9781456459673

Click here to buy this book!

Price: $3.50 (eBook)
Download to your Kindle (eBook)
Barnes &

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.

Strange things were already happening at the Brook Farm Co-op when Jill arrived to do graduate work. There had been two recent deaths and the apparent kidnapping of a neighbor's baby. So when Jill's old friend Renee goes missing, along with her three-year-old child, Ethan, Jill knows she must  do something about it. Though a reluctant sleuth, Jill feels she is at least more knowledgeable than her friend Alison, who proposes to find their mutual friend by using Tarot cards.

Jill soon becomes enmeshed in the swirl of events at her new home, as Renee's Missing in Action boyfriend turns up after four years in an Israeli kibbutz. Though he denies knowledge of Renee's whereabouts, the police don't believe him and when he becomes their prime suspect, he too appeals to Jill for help. Meanwhile, Alison's Tarol cards have led tne co-op members on a spooky farmhouse search which Jill is lured to participate in. 

The Tarot cards indicate that eventually, everyone involved will be in danger. Jill does not believe the cards, but as it turns out, perhaps she should have. Whether by coincidence or mystical connection, they prove to be right.

This is the second Jill Szekely mystery, and like the first, Dorothea in the Miirror, it is an Agatha Christie-type puzzler rather than a thriller. Yet it offers plenty of action, too, as the co-op members invade the old farmhouse on a mission to find and rescue Renee, and then Jill must manage another rescue of a friend incarcerated in a spooky asylum.


"Mama, Renee is gone." Alison's tearful child clung to her mother.
"Gone? What do you mean, gone?"
"She goned herself, and Ethan too.
She took Ethan to the bathroom at the rest stop and they never came back. Me and Rhoda stayed in the car and we waited and waited..."
"Never mind, Chrissie, we'll find them." Alison hugged the distraught youngster. "They have to be someplace."

Professional Reviews book review by Linda Schroeder
With The Brook Farm Murders, Lois Wells Santalo brings her reluctant detective Jill Szekely back for another round, this time not so much to unravel a mystery for us as to prevent tragedy from happening. In this second Szekely story, Santalo again brings 1948 post World War 11 America to us with interesting details--a time when ladies wore hats and gloves, when Clark Gable and Harry Truman made news, when marriage was mandated as a prerequisite for sex, and when a few hardy individuals clung to the notions established by the nineteenth-century Brook Farm commune which Emerson and Thoreau, to name two, brought into being. Of course, those of us who lived through the hippie communes of the 1960's already smelled doom in the air for Jill and the Michigan Brook Farm with the mention of shared gardens and equal work loads for all.

In this story, Jill, separated from her concert pianist husband, has returned to the University of Michigan to teach and do graduate work. She anticipates a protected, scholarly environment, but instead finds herself in hostile territory at the commune of Brook Farm when she agrees to work in the farm's library in exchange for room and board. Santalo's Brook Farm reels from mysterious deaths, a kidnapping, and hate directed at handicapped children who reside at the Farms residential school. Santalo embeds in this mystery a vivid picture of the philosophy of eugenics, the "belief that our world can't afford to maintain the seriously handicapped" or compromise the "gene pool" with less than perfect individuals. It is a philosophy which mandates actions without mercy and Santalo follows this philosophy down the inevitable road to personal human tragedy. Along the way, in true detective novel fashion, we are treated to suspect after suspect, each with reason to kill or kidnap.

In a fun structure, Santalo used a reading of Tarot cards to move the plot. The story is cast down as are cards in a Tarot spread. One by one the cards actually prove to be harbingers of danger. One by one Jill sees the connections of events to the cards' predictions, until the final card, the Tower, propels her to risk the lives of the handicapped children in order to save them. That Tower card provides a great finale for this novel, with its prediction of danger escalating to reality in this very well done, action packed climax. And throughout the novel, Santalo is creative in tweaking our curiosity about the original Brook Farm, the newsmakers of 1948, and the philosophy of eugenics.

Want to review or comment on this book?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Books by
Lois Wells Santalo

Night of the Humpbacked Moon, a Jill Szekely mystery

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

Oops, I Lost my Sense of Humor

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

The Women of Stormland

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

I'll Meet You in Syracuse

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, more..

Dorothea in the Mirror, a Jill Szekely mystery

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

The House of Music

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, more..

The Brook Farm Murders, a Jill Szekely mystery

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

Mystery/Suspense Books
  1. A Twin Mystery
  2. Stranger Lurking in the Shadows
  3. The Madonna Ghost
  4. In Sheep's Clothing
  5. Girl with Pencil, Drawing
  6. Troubled Water (Kindle Edition)
  7. The Purgatory Inn
  8. Wicked Players
  9. Parting Shot
  10. Bluff (Paperback Edition)

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.