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Susan Van Kirk Books In Order

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Publication Order of Art Center Mystery Books

Death in a Pale Hue (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a Bygone Hue (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Endurance Mysteries Books

Three May Keep a Secret (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marry in Haste (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Locket (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Takes No Bribes (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Witch's Child (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Sweet Iron Mystery Books

A Death at Tippitt Pond (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Susan Van Kirk
Susan Van Kirk was born in Galesburg, Illinois, and educated at Knox College (BA in history) and University of Illinois (M. Ed. in secondary education).

Susan is an author of mysteries, short stories, and a creative, non-fiction memoir about teaching. She was a high school teacher for thirty-four years and was a college teacher for ten.

She has been interested in mysteries since she read the whole entire “Sherlock Holmes” series when she was young. It was love at first murder, and yep, her parents were worried. Mysteries are her favorite genre since their endings restore moral order to the universe. And who wouldn’t want to create that out of chaos?

Her favorite mystery writers are Charles Finch, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, and Agatha Christie.

Her retirement job is writing, and spends her time between the large city of Phoenix, Arizona and the small town of Monmouth, Illinois.

She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and is president of the Guppy Chapter, an online chapter of Sisters in Crime.

“Three May Keep a Secret” is the first novel in the “Endurance Mystery” series and was released in 2014. Grace Kimball is a recently retired teacher in the tiny town of Endurance, and she’s haunted by a dark event in her past, and it’s an experience so horrifying she has never been able to put it behind her. Most days, though, she loves her life in her historical town, filled with former students and friends that are both funny and supportive. Among these friends is TJ Sweeney, a police detective.

When Brenda Norris, Grace’s old colleague and now shoddy journalist, is murdered in a suspicious fire, the cops have an endless pool of suspects. Jeff Maitlin, the editor of the Endurance Register, hires Grace to take Brenda’s job and write about the history of the town, however neither one of them realizes that the charming town hides people that’ll do anything to keep their secrets.

Grace and Jeff discover an undeniable attraction for one another, however she knows nothing about his mysterious past, and when more suspicious deaths start happening, she finds she is wondering if she is able to trust this mysterious man. This is a picturesque place to live, assuming you don’t mind a corpse or two.

“Marry in Haste” is the second novel in the “Endurance Mystery” series and was released in 2016. “Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure”, Benjamin Franklin. This is the story of two different lives over a hundred years apart, both illustrating the resilience of women in the small town of Endurance.

Grace Kimball writes for the Endurance Register and dates Jeff Maitlin, its editor. When he buys this gigantic Victorian and borrows money from the bank, he sets off a series of events which puts Grace in grave danger. Conrad Folger, the president of the bank, gets murdered, and Emily, his wife, becomes the prime suspect.

As TJ Sweeney, Grace’s buddy and Endurance police detective, works on this case, Grace also works to prove the innocence of her former student. If Grace is right and Emily Folger is in fact innocent, then who else could’ve had a motive to murder this bank president? TJ investigates his list of potential suspects: unhappy bank clients, spurned lovers, and even family members.

Grace and Jeff even find a diary from 1893 in Lockwood House, Jeff’s recently bought mansion. It was written by a naive 17 year old that comes to Endurance from their small farm, and it tells Olivia Havelock’s bittersweet tale. She marries this powerful judge, and what starts as a joyous event soon turns to horror. While Grace continues reading the diary, she quickly sees parallels to Emily Folger’s own life. Can the lessons from the past help Grace in clearing Emily’s name? And can she possibly do it in enough time, before this killer can strike again?

“A Death at Tippitt Pond” is the first novel in the “Sweet Iron Mystery” series and was released in 2019. Secrets long buried surround the murder of Melanie Tippitt. The teenage daughter of a wealthy family in a small town, her lifeless body was discovered floating in Tippitt Pond during the summer of 1971. Six people were there that day, and one was even convicted of her murder. So case closed.

Some forty-five years later, Beth Russell, a genealogist and freelance researcher, is brought to the town by an attorney that believes Russell is Melanie Tippitt’s daughter and the long lost heir to the Tippitt family fortune. Soon she finds herself being surrounded by people that want her gone just as quickly as possible, people with a lot to lose. The more that they push, the more determined Beth is to learn the truth. With help from a handsome detective, she vows to learn exactly what it was that happened that day at Tippitt Pond.

A stranger watching from the woods, Melanie Tippitt’s ghostly presence, and the discovery of secrets in Tippitt House make for a suspenseful investigation where Beth learns a death at Tippitt Pond changed everything.

“Death in a Pale Hue” is the first novel in the “Art Center Mystery” series and was released in 2022. Who knew going home could get so deadly?

Artist Jill Madison repeats her mantra: “I will show them success” as she returns to her small hometown to restart her life. She’s just been hired to manage a new community art center, she vows to make it successful so that the people of her town can have what she never did: an education in the arts.

She no sooner takes the job than a burglar makes off with this expensive sculpture and some uninvited corpse is found in the basement. Making things worse, the corpse belongs to somebody that Jill knew rather well. Investigating what happened places her right in the murderer’s path.

How is she going to keep her job, run her first major event, and escape a murderer that plans on painting her out of the picture permanently?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Susan Van Kirk

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