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Tessa Wegert Books In Order

Publication Order of Shana Merchant Books

Death in the Family (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tessa Wegert is a Canadian freelance writer and author of literary fiction best known for her debut novel “Death in the Family.” As a freelance writer and journalist, her work has been featured in the likes of “The Economist,” “Forbes,” “Adweek,” and “The Huffington Post.” Wegert was brought up in Quebec, Canada though she lived in the United States for several years while she was working as a journalist and freelance writer. She currently lives with her husband and children in Darien, Connecticut from where she writes her mystery novels that are set in Upstate New York. When she is not writing she loves to read, dance and study martial arts.

Tessa was born in Winnipeg, Canada but has lived in a variety of places including Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia, and Mainz in Germany prior to the family settling in Lennoxville, Quebec near the Vermont border, where she spent much of her childhood. After high school, she went to Concordia University in Montreal and graduated with a Communications degree. Wegert would then work in digital advertising and then as a freelance business and technology reporter. It was during this time that she met her husband and moved to the United States. They lived in four different states before deciding to settle down in Chicago, where she worked on the digital content and social media for companies such as The Huffington Post, IBM, The Globe and Mail, Audible, The Economist, Toshiba, The Economist, Business Insider and Forbes among many others. Over time, she slowly began to transition from writing blogs and branded content to fiction writing. During this time, she wrote the short story “Moms ‘Night Out” that won Writers Digest Magazine’s Crime award. Her debut novel ‘Death in the Family’ published in 2020 is set in “Thousand Islands,” where Tessa has been a regular visitor for nearly two decades as she loves its unique atmosphere.

Tessa Wegert’s “Death in the Family” is An Agatha Christie inspired locked room mystery with a moody atmosphere, a cast of peculiar characters and a clever mystery. It is a decidedly contemporary crime novel with the leads struggle with past trauma taking center stage. Tessa started out writing thrillers in the mold of Michael Crichton but soon learned that the market was not that receptive to such fiction and hence she pivoted to mystery. During this time, she had read Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and had loved the classic mystery tropes. Tessa thought she could write a conventional murder mystery with a modern twist and started penning the manuscript for her debut. It took about three years to go from conception to publishing. However, this was not her first rodeo as she had five other manuscripts though this was her first attempt at writing in the mystery genre and as such it took quite some time to get everything just right. She had her fair amount of rejections before this but was lucky that classic whodunits and locked room mysteries were making a comeback and hence “Death in the Family” got published relatively fast. Wegert is thrilled to be part of the growth of the genre as she set out to just entertain her readers with her debut and never imagined so much success.

“Death in the Family” is set on a storm struck island. The lead is ex NYPD investigator named Shana Merchant who learns the hard way that murder does not discriminate. A year ago, she had been kidnapped by a serial killer and had barely survived and the trauma forced her to leave the NYPD. She hopes to leave all that in the past and has moved to Thousand Islands in Upstate New York. She found a new job in the sleepy town and works alongside Tim Wellington a veteran detective. But as the north-easterly wind blows across the city, their new assignment is to investigate the case of a missing man on a private island. Tim and Shana go to the remote island that is the property of the rich Sinclair family, where they hope to start the investigation by interviewing witnesses. Upon arrival on the island, they find the Sinclair friends and family on edge and a bloody, grisly scene. Tim believes that this is a case of a runaway but Shana thinks that it is a murder. Meanwhile, the gale is gathering strength and as Shana starts her investigations, she learns that the Sinclairs have a lot of dangerous and dark secrets. The violent storm has them trapped and Shana cannot rely on Tim even as the suspects increasingly become restless. She also has to deal with flashbacks she thought she had left behind that have now been triggered by the case. Shana may need to trust herself though she had completely lost faith in that person ever since her abduction. But she has to do something since the clock is ticking and if she is right, the killer may just strike again.

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