“Three May Keep a Secret … if Two of Them Are Dead.”
Susan Van Kirk
Grace Kimball is a survivor. She lived through a horrendous fire that killed both of her college roommates. After college she married, and her young husband died of a heart attack leaving her to raise three children alone. These tragedies have marked her, but not defeated her.
After her husband died, she began teaching at Endurance High School. Now she is retiring after twenty-five years on the job. It’s the summer of 2011, the town of Endurance is planning its 175th anniversary, and Grace and her friends are celebrating her retirement. She is drawn out of her celebratory mood when an old friend—now newspaper reporter—is killed in a suspicious fire. Grace is drawn into the investigation when she steps into the reporter’s job, researching the town’s past for the centennial. She and Jeff Maitlin, the recently hired newspaper editor, do not realize that the town has secrets to hide, and some of its inhabitants are willing to kill to keep those secrets hidden. The killer murders again, leaving no doubt that someone is trying to hide a terrible secret.
A nosy relative, a little romance, and quirky remembrances about Grace’s former students lighten this otherwise dark mystery. She’s also supported by a group of close friends, including TJ Sweeney, former student and now police detective. Humor notwithstanding, before the killer is caught, Grace’s life will be threatened with her worst nightmare. So far she’s defied the odds. Can she do so again?
Three May Keep a Secret is the first book in a series called The Endurance Mysteries. Publisher’s Weekly called it “an appealing mystery debut,” adding that, “Cozy fans will find a lot to like.” Kirkus Reviews said, “Van Kirk’s debut novel, following a memoir of her own days as a teacher, offers a promising new heroine who’s clever, observant and smart enough to admit when she’s been fooled.”
The second Endurance Mystery, Marry in Haste, will be out in early 2016, from Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale/Cengage. You can visit her website for upcoming book news and blog posts at www.Susanvankirk.com
Susan Van Kirk is the writer of a creative, non-fiction memoir, The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks.) Her first mystery, Three May Keep a Secret, was published December 2014 by Five Star Publishing (Cengage.) A high school and college teacher for forty-four years, she has always been interested in mysteries since she read the entire Sherlock Holmes series at a very early age. It was love at first murder, and yes, her parents were worried. These days she splits her time between her small town in west central Illinois and the Phoenix/Scottsdale area where her three children and nine grandchildren live. [And yes, they hated Midwest winters.] She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Her website is at www.susanvankirk.com; she has a Twitter account, @susan_vankirk; she’s on Pinterest at The Endurance Mysteries; she’s a Goodreads Author; and she has a Facebook page at Susan Van Kirk Author.