Jo Dereske is an American author whose most popular books are the Miss Zukas’ series. Her chosen genre is mystery stories and she has 17 in print books. Two mystery succession in addition to the three books made for teens and young adults. She is a former librarian who has live in Northwest Washington State for over 30 years but actually grew up in Mason County, Michigan. As a child, Derek dreamed of becoming a writer but believed that dream to be far out of her reach. Her thoughts that were because she did not live in New York City, there was no possible way that she could get published. She moved away from home after college and headed west in hopes of experiencing the world so that she could write about it properly. Derek mentions that it is funny how most of her books have ties to Michigan in some ways, some things never really change. She also says that her first two books were written for her two children, and since then she has written many books in her most popular series. She currently resides in Washington State with her husband.
She enjoys connecting her books back to something personal that she is fascinated by. Whether it be writing about Michigan where she grew up, or connecting her stories to the “oddities” of the Library environment. She sincerely loved her time as a Librarian and enjoys that entire world and how it operates. Her passion translates well into her writing and is something that she keeps with her. She also draws and relies heavily on her Lithuanian heritage.
Jo has participated and trained in the further education college of Washington imaginative Writing Program. She has also spoken at the documentation of Congress in the Washington D.C., as a participant of the Judith Austin Memorial Lecture series. She continues to teach and work in various workshops for writers to help them improve and grow. She even speaks at different events and finds ways to keep busy. She has also been designated for several awards for her writing that she used to do.
Jo Dereske has been on numerous best-seller lists and has some incredibly high praise reviews. The new York, Times called the Miss Zukas’ series, “a loving send-up of the label of the prim as well as proper librarian.” With such incredible praise as well as being added to continuous favorites lists, her books are definitely well known in the mystery community as far as it is concerned.
About Her Recent Free Release
Jo’s book ALL OF US AT THE SAME TIME is something that she decided to publish to readers for free. She has a very deep and personal reason for deciding to make this book free. Both her aunt and uncle suffered from illnesses that were extremely painful for her to witness. Her uncle had Alzheimer’s and her aunt had multi-infarct dementia. She went with her husband to care for them and wrote a diary during this time to keep her thoughts together. After the difficult experience, Joe finished writing ALL OF US AT THE SAME TIME and found that it was much too personal to publish. Even though it was hard for her, she wanted to share her experience and sadness with her audience. She wanted to connect with them through her book but did not want to gain money from it. So Joe decided to publish her book in hopes that it would bring peace and understanding to others. Being able to have conversations about the challenging and heart-wrenching pain of dementia, is something that is important to Joe. Her main goal was to open up the conversation and get people connecting to each other to reach a better understanding of what it means to go through such a trial.
Popular Books and Their Characters
Her most well known and influential series is the Miss Zukas’ series, a set of mysteries based on the main character Miss Helma Zukas. The first installment entitled Miss Zukas in addition to the Library Murders, begins when the body turns-up in middle of the fiction section and the police are completely in shock. Miss Helma Zukas and her best friend Ruth begin tracking the evidence themselves, in desperate search of the truth. Putting themselves in the line of danger does create a few problems, especially since they are tracking a killer.
Miss Zukas is a very proper and conscientious local librarian living in the small Bellehaven, Washington. As well as being a kind and appropriate woman, she is also extremely curious. Her curiosity helps her become one heck of an amateur sleuth. She is someone who takes note of anything abnormal and is very aware of the things around her. Her abilities to notice when something deviates from the norm helps her to keep track of the proper clues that are right in front, of her nose. She has a calm exterior which helps her when it comes to hearing about the body and allows her to get on top of things quickly.
Her best friend Ruth is a six-foot tall bohemian artist, who keeps up on all of the gossips and has a tendency for getting into trouble. Her friend assists her through her investigation and helps to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Jo continues the series in her second book Miss Zukas as well as the Island Murders, with Miss Zukas receiving an anonymous note reminding her of her promise to get her long way high school classmates’ together for the twenty-year reunion. Things go completely awry when someone fails her perfectly laid plan, ultimately gathering her and her classmates on an island with a murderer in their midst. True to form Miss Zukas finds a way to take charge and get to the bottom of things.
There is a total of 12 books in a Miss Zukas’ series written by Jo Dereske. She also has a few other books written for young people. With an amazing catalog of books and excellent rave reviews, Jo is a seasoned writer with a well-established skill.Book Series In Order » Authors » Jo Dereske