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Branching Out

Book cover for Murder in the Park by Jeanne M. Dams

My new series set in the village of Oak Park, Illinois during Prohibition, is out and flourishing, and I’ve begun work on the second book. The first one, titled Murder in the Park, is set in 1925 and stars a wealth young woman still traumatized by the death of her husband and unborn child at the end of World War I.

The second, still unfinished and untitled, deals with the complicated relationships among jazz musicians (Louis Armstrong among them), the community, both Black and white, the Outfit, and the Ku Klux Klan. Lots of flashpoints!

Meanwhile I’ve been continuing Dorothy Martin’s adventures. The latest book, A Deadly Web, is not quite out but will be soon. It takes place in Sherebury, her home, and involve most of the friends and neighbours she has come to love, as well as two important new characters, only one of them human!

As For Me...

Like everyone else, I’ve been staying home for two years. In the hopes that the pandemic is receding, I plan a trip to England late this summer, doing research for forthcoming Dorothy books.

If the airlines and rail lines cooperate, I’m going to visit the beautiful Lake District, staying in Grasmere, home of William Wordsworth. I’m not a big fan of the romantic poets, but I do love the beauties of nature.

Then I’ll go on to the Yorkshire Dales, with a home base in Harrogate. I’m excited to be staying in the hotel where Agatha Christie hid out during her famous eleven-day disappearance!

After that I’ll be revisiting Cambridge for a few days, and finally will enjoy a five-day cruise on the Thames before returning home. The journey will, I hope, give me plenty of fodder for several more Dorothy books.

All depends on planes leaving as scheduled, the rail strikes in England being settled, the pandemic continuing to dwindle, and me being able to withstand record-breaking heat in a country where there is little air-conditioning. Isn’t life interesting?

I like to call my books "cheerful mysteries." For despite all signs to the contrary, I continue to believe the world is a good place and most of her people are trying to do their best. So my books reflect that philosophy and I hope this site does, too.  

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Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel (1995)

“Fans of the English cozy will put the kettle on, snuggle under a lap rug, and sigh contentedly...” - Kirkus Reviews