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Elaine L Orr

Born: Washington, DC
Connection to Illinois: Orr moved to Springfield in 2014 and has spent much of her time since then writing novels. Partly as a way to get to know the area better, She started a new mystery series, set in the fictional central Illinois college town of Logland -- "Tip a Hat to Murder," "Final Cycle," and "Final Operation." This series features Police Chief Elizabeth Friedman -- a police procedural with a cozy feel. A long-term substitute teacher in Glenwood Middle School in Chatham, Orr especially liked working in the library at the school. She entered the hobby category in the Illinois State Fair and received a third premium in 2017 and First Premium (equivalent of a blue ribbon) in 2018 for her political campaign button display entitled, "50 Years Since 1968: the Year of Change." During the pandemic, she worked for several months for the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, doing contact tracing and vaccine scheduling. She met dozens of dedicated health professionals.

Biography: Elaine L. Orr authors four mystery series, including the thirteen-book Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, which is set at the Jersey shore. Her newest series is the Family History Mystery Series, set in the Western Maryland Mountains. She also writes plays and novellas, including the one-act, "Common Ground," published in 2015. Elaine conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. A member of Sisters in Crime and the Independent Book Publishers Association, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994. Elaine graduated from the University of Dayton with a BA in Political Science and from the American University with an MA in Government. She worked for GAO and the National Academy of Public Administration for many years, and for two Iowa members of the U.S. House of Representatives -- one Republican and one Democrat. Elaine did some journalism course work at the University of Maryland and has taken fiction courses from The Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD, the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and Georgetown University's Continuing Education Program.

  • Behind the Walls Short-listed, Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Award, 2014
  • Demise of a Devious Neighbor Short-listed, Chanticleer Award, 2017
  • Unscheduled Murder Trip B.R.A.G. Medallion, 2021
  • Biding Time One of five finalists, National Press Club's first fiction contest, 1993

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Mystery; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Any Port in a Storm
ISBN: 1948070146 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2018

Someone is breaking into the houses Jolie appraises. When she realizes a new face in town is leading high school kids into trouble in those houses, Jolie's mad and lets him know it. Hayden offers to help her mind her own business, and a lot of people at the Talk Like a Pirate Day fundraiser for the food pantry hear her give him what for.A hurricane's on the way to disrupt Talk Like a Pirate Day. When a corpse turns up under the pirate ship the next day, Jolie's looking like a suspect. Soon she has less work. Who wants a possible murder suspect appraising their house?Scoobie's pirate limericks can't solve a crime, so Jolie and her sometimes buddy local reporter George Winters look for the murderer and try to figure out who's trying to frame Jolie. They need to stay ahead of whoever's mad at her and off the radar of the local police who tell Jolie -- for the hundredth time -- to butt out.All this and Jolie has to deal with Aunt Madge's blossoming love life. And what about her own? For a cozy mystery with a dose of humor and a touch of romance, join Jolie and friends in Ocean Alley.

Appraisal for Murder
ISBN: 1466395079 OCLC: 844034455

CreateSpace [Seattle, WA] : 2012

Can a real estate appraiser in a New Jersey beach town get in this much trouble? If your name translates to "pretty nice" in French, you've probably gotten used to teasing. It doesn't prepare you to find out that your soon-to-be-ex-husband has a gambling problem, raided your assets, and embezzled from his bank. Jolie Gentil moves to Great Aunt Madge’s bed and breakfast at the Jersey shore, taking her cat Jazz, and joining Madge's pair of prune-eating dogs. Jolie does not view this as a retreat, just a smart change. She had no idea her life was about to get even more complicated. Jolie reestablishes friendships with Scoobie and Ramona, dodgies low-level wise guy Pedone, and (oops!) finds a dead body. The late Ruth Riordan is Aunt Madge's closest friend and mother to Michael, a former arrogant classmate who can still push all of Jolie's buttons. Jolie and Aunt Madge seem to be the only ones who think the police are wrong in accusing Michael of his mother's murder. Soon, the mundane work of appraising real estate and dodging suggestions that she go to the ten-year high school reunion become mixed with calls from reporters, scary suggestions from Pedone who wants her to repay her ex-husband's gambling debts, and requests that she help the local busybody with First Presbyterian's social services work. And there's still Scoobie, the high school friend she hung out with most. With his blue jeans and longer hair, he’s the antithesis of oil company executive Michael, and much easier to be with. His haunting poetry reflects how different his life has been since Jolie knew him. Jolie must balance her fear of Pedone, conviction that Michael is innocent, and friendship with Scoobie. Her growing list of other possible murder suspects includes Michael's soon-to-be ex-wife and a couple other beneficiaries of Mrs. Riordan's will. Will she be able to identify the real killer, or will Pedone's plans thwart her efforts?

Aunt Madge and the Civil Election: An Aunt Madge Story in the Jolie Gentil Series
ISBN: 1948070685 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams 2020

Aunt Madge is determined to say her town from becoming a bunch of huge condos and resourt hotels. it seems the only way to promote sensible progress is to run for mayor of Ocean Alley. Remember when candidates were polite and talked about issues? Well in Ocean Alley at the Jersey Shore, they still do. Well, there was the issue with the fire at the garage... If this is your first book in the Jolie Gentil series, it’s a bit different than the others. In fact, it’s called an Aunt Madge Story in the Jolie series. In terms of story chronology, it follows "Underground in Ocean Alley" (book 11). In that book, Jolie solves a murder while Aunt Madge happens to be running for mayor of Ocean Alley. In "Aunt Madge and The Civil Election," events of the crime-solving are muted and the campaign is the focus. If that sounds boring, be assured there is plenty going on, with much of the usual dry humor. I wanted readers to have the story of Aunt Madge’s campaign. It’s told from her point of view rather than Jolie’s, without spoiling the mystery in "Underground in Ocean Alley," should you choose to read it. Harry manages Aunt Madge’s campaign, and they are determined that Ocean Alley not be overtaken by a large resort development. Aunt Madge says she’s for sensible progress, but neither she nor her opponent will stoop to low blows. You can read this 16,500-word story to find out who won the election! Aunt Madge and the Civil Election has the same major characters – Jolie, her husband Scoobie, his brother Terry, and their three-year old twins, Aunt Madge, and her husband Harry. No book would be complete without Scoobie’s best friend, former reporter George Winters, the irascible Sergeant Morehouse, Megan of Java Jolt, and the ornery Lester Argrow. There are other familiar faces, too.

Behind the Walls
ISBN: 1493744666 OCLC: Charleston, S.C. :

CreateSpace Charleston, S.C. : 2013

It’s fun to buy a house. Unless there is something hidden behind the walls and someone wants it. Someone who is willing to kill for it. Jolie is pursued by a purse thief and a burglar, but the guy she’s most worried about is the one who left an elderly auctioneer dead on her porch swing.In between appraising houses and planning a fundraiser for the food pantry (can you say liquid string contest?), Jolie, Scoobie and friends need to figure who left a cache of jewelry behind the walls in her house. And who is going to help her cat Jazz feel at home in the new house? Maybe a different kind of pet…

Biding Time
ISBN: 1484125762 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2013

Franklin Myers never met the uncle he was named for. His mother's brother Franklin died in Vietnam when he was only 22. At least, everyone thinks he did. He's still MIA. As the young Frank Myers grows up in the schools and on the streets of Washington, D.C., his path crosses that of the uncle he never met through the memories of his uncle's friends, especially at the Veterans Outreach Center. Frank has his own friends, especially Eric, so he doesn't focus too much on his uncle. But, it's other Vietnam vets who may save Frank from the problems youth of the late 1980s find in DC, problems Eric seems drawn to.

Demise of a Devious Neighbor: River's Edge Cozy Mystery Book 2
ISBN: 1948070510 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2020

The reverberating bangs shook Melanie Perkins' nerves. Either someone's aiming at her truck, or they don't know fireworks are supposed to go upward. Could things get any worse? Yes. The next day she discovers a dead body in the barn on her late parents' farm, Sheriff's Deputy Granger's gun pointed at the chest of a primary suspect – someone she holds dear. Illegal merchandise flooding the small Iowa town of River's Edge, upcoming Fourth of July activities, and a half-finished manuscript all hinder her determined efforts to solve the crime before an innocent person is convicted of murder.

Demise of a Devious Suspect: River's Edge Cozy Mystery Series, Book 3
ISBN: 1948070529 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2020

Life for Melanie has returned to normal. She works as a gardener with friend Stooper, eats at Mason's Diner, and sits on her farmhouse porch with friends Syl and Sandi. Her biggest challenge is helping Mr. Tibbs get used to the still-unnamed black cat that sauntered into the household. And then she finds a body in the coat closet at the Farm Bureau dinner. The local grain operator had angered farmers with increased prices, but who kills for an extra few cents per bushel of corn? Tired of fingers pointing toward her and curious about why someone burned some of her late father's files, Mel does some poking on her own. The kidnapping of a local woman raises the stakes. With pets who have a nose for trouble, Melanie seeks a devious suspect.

Falling Into Place
ISBN: 0986338087 OCLC:

0986338087 2017

War changes people. Because of it, Everett was a stay-at-home dad before it was a choice. Only his wife Sue Ellen had a clue why he seemed to find it hard to cope. His four children, while respectful, wished he could do more than create gardens and fix breakfast. Sue Ellen's illness meant he needed to be able to fend more for himself. It also brought his World War II secret to light. And from the sadness grew understanding and stronger bonds. An important story told with humor and grace. *** Falling Into Place is first a heartwarming story about family when confronted with more than the challenges of daily life.

Final Cycle
ISBN: 1948070170 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2018

Marti and Nick have inherited The Bully Pulpit Diner in Logland, Illinois, and their first Christmas season has town grounch, Louella Belle Simpson, as a regular customer. She points out calorie content to other diners and lectures people on their weight. This doesn't encourage people to order pie. When Louella Belle turns up dead, there are plenty of people who were tired of listening to her, but murder seems like an extreme reaction.Police Chief Elizabeth Friedman has few clues and little help from the alarmed Logland residents. No one at Man-Up Tatoos saw anything, and the Weed n' Feed Bar and Grill wasn't close enough for patrons to be helpful. Somebody had to have seen something, and when another senior citizen turns up dead, the chief figures someone must be trying to cover their tracks.What do stolen bicycles, baggies with paint on them, and a brick through the chief's apartment have to do with the killings? And does Medical Examiner Skelly figure out something that makes him a target, too? Will he be around to have Christmas Eve dinner with the chief?As Elizabeth and the small Logland police force wade through suspects and clues, they learn some poignant facts that serve as a reminder of why we need to reach out to people who aren't easy to help. Join the eclectic mix of Logland characters as they try to solve a murder and celebrate Christmas.

Final Operation
ISBN: 1948070308 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2019

City Clerk Donald Dingle is a pest. He's a tightwad with the city budget and criticizes the police department to the point that Police Chief Elizabeth Friedman would love to see him retire. And she did mean retire, not expire. When he dies soon after having stents implanted, it's natural to wonder why he didn't recover. When the reason becomes apparent, people in town wonder if they're safe in the hospital. Then some of the pointing fingers aim at Medical Examiner Skelly, a good friend of the police department Dingle wanted to abolish. Chief Elizabeth Friedman has her hands full. She has to tread on some important toes to find the answers. Even if her department survives, can the hospital and her friends there do the same? And how long does a small town survive without its hospital? Join the quirky characters of Logland, Illinois in this police procedural with a cozy feel.

From Newsprint to Footprints: First River's Edge Cozy Mystery
ISBN: 1948070499 OCLC: 1394050714

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2020

What if you live in a small town, lose your job, and don't see other employment options nearby? That was Melanie Perkins' predicament when grouchy news publisher Hal Morris fired her because she took too many photos of flowers when she was supposed to concentrate on the story at hand. She lands work as a landscaper, but there's an ugly surprise her first day at the new job. At first no one thinks Melanie could be a killer. But when her hoe turns up in the same mulch pile as a body, the local sheriff isn't so sure. Mel’s initially willing to let law enforcement clear her name, but the hoe and a nighttime assault convince Melanie she has to look out for herself. Life along the Des Moines River in Iowa can be peaceful, but the murderer has no problem disturbing Melanie’s tranquility. Humor and murder -- and a cute terrier -- feature in this first book in the River's Edge cozy mystery series.

Gilded Path to Nowhere
ISBN: 1948070847 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2022

When a Maple Grove resident discovers some old gold coins in the woods near town, it's an intriguing event -- but not one that seems dangerous. However, the article Digger's friend, Marty, wrote for the Maple Grove News, seems to have attracted unwarranted attention. Did the coins come from a long-ago bank robbery or burglary, or was someone passing through murdered in the early 20th century? No matter the source, it leads to a fresh murder today.Sheriff Montgomery asks Digger for help in tracing descendants of possible owners of the stash of coins. But he didn't mean for her to delve deeply into the case. She and Marty -- with input from the late Uncle Benjamin -- can't resist. Their probe may uncover secrets others will do anything to conceal.

Ground to a Halt
ISBN: 1505406706 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2014

When Jolie Gentil goes to buy a cup of coffee the morning after a storm knocks out power at her house in Ocean Alley, she finds Java Jolt unlocked and minus its owner. A bigger surprise is seeing proprietor Joe Regan a few minutes later, badly injured. It seems a potential killer thinks Jolie has something Joe was hiding.The normal routine of appraising houses and volunteering at the Harvest for All food pantry is interrupted by an SUV that nearly smashes Jolie, a break-in at the home Jolie and Scoobie share, and a terrifying kidnapping.Jolie needs to figure out who's telling the truth and how far the thugs will go to to find what they want. Only solving the puzzle will keep Jolie safe, protect a vulnerable Iraqi War veteran, and make sure everyone stays alive. But if Jolie keeps searching, her budding romance with Scoobie may grind to a halt.

Holidays in Ocean Alley
ISBN: 1088291201 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2023

Opening your apartment door to see a woman sliding down it is distressing. Especially when that woman has a knife in her chest. After all the times she has encouraged Jolie to mind her own business, Aunt Madge has had a change of heart.It's Jolie's boyfriend Scoobie Madge turns to help her figure out who the murderer is. Not that being temporarily in an assisted living apartment prevents Aunt Madge from investigating herself. No, a fall from a stool that results in a broken wrist and ankle can't hold down the owner of the Cozy Corner B&B.Could the murderer be a resident with a grudge, or a philandering neighbor who didn't want to get caught in someone else's bed? Aunt Madge's scooter rides take her to the laundry room where she thinks she spots a body in a bin, and into the cold to check exit doors to be sure they can't be entries for murder. All she gets is a reputation for being nosy. It's hard not to be when a dead woman's blood is on your carpet.Murder's not all Madge and friends juggle. What will happen to the Alzheimer's patient whose husband wants to keep her in their apartment? Will Scoobie find information about Melvin, his ornery former professor, that will explain his odd behavior? And how will Madge and her good friend Lance avoid the acid-tongued Elmira Washington, who has decided she wants an apartment in their building?

Jolie and Scoobie High School Misadventures (Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series)
ISBN: 1493622811 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2013

When Jolie Gentil’s parents leave her with Aunt Madge for her junior year so they can ‘work things out’ in their marriage, she’s angry. She knows no one at Ocean Alley High School.Some kids snub her, but she makes friends with the irreverent Scoobie. He’s quirky and fun, but he’s skipped school and smoked pot in the past, so people avoid him. Jolie learns how to shoot a squirt gun from under the boardwalk and tries not to flunk geometry.She also learns that the family she babysits for has a secret, one that puts Jolie in danger. You’ve met Jolie and Scoobie as crime-solving adults. Check out their high school friendship. Same humor, different challenges. Plus a couple of hints about why Jolie wants to get to the bottom of murders when she’s all grown up.

Least Trodden Ground: Family History Mystery Series Book 1
ISBN: 1948070634 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2020

Digger listened to Uncle Benjamin's stories and acquired her nickname while helping him plant flowers at family graves. She looks forward to spending time with him after busted pipes put her kitchen ceiling on the floor. She didn't expect to find his body at his mountain home, the Ancestral Sanctuary. Who would kill the parsimonious octogenarian who helped the historical society find a new abode? And what will digging into family history tell Digger and her cousin, Franklin, about Benjamin's killer? If she doesn't watch out, Digger could end up next to Uncle Benjamin in the family plot. Spooky times in the Western Maryland Mountains.

Long Held Lake Secrets

Independently Published 2023

A dinner invitation for Digger, who is accompanied by the very pale Uncle Benjamin, gets her involved with a recently discovered relative of their elderly friend Thelma, whose brother died during World War II. DNA testing has led his until-now-unknown great-grandson, Peter, to Maple Grove in the Western Maryland Mountains. Thelma enlists Digger's help as she gets to know Peter.But his presence is not the only surprise. Letters Thelma recently received from another brother’s estate raise questions about what happened to some of her parents’ prized possessions. Were they submerged with the family's old farmhouse, which became part of Deep Creek Lake when it was filled in the mid-1920s?Digger and Uncle Benjamin see no way to learn more, but night visits to the lake by an unscrupulous duo may mean someone else is looking for valuables to plunder. But how would they know it exists, and what would convince them to dive for it? And what will happen to Digger or her friend Marty if they get in the way of the treasure seekers?

Monett (MO) (Images of America)
ISBN: 0738540676 OCLC: Charleston, SC :

Arcadia Publishing Charleston, SC : 2006

When the Frisco Railway decided to move its Missouri hub from Pierce City in 1887, Monett began its growth from a sleepy town into one bustling with stores, churches, and hotels, all around the depot. By the early 20th century, Monett was home to a minor-league baseball team, hosted the Monett Chautauqua, and saw presidents campaigning via the rails. A crowd of 10,000 watched local pharmacist and photographer Logan McKee fly a plane during the 1911 Fourth of July celebration. Citizens moved from horse-drawn buggies to cars, and LeRoy Jeffries, member of a prominent pioneer family, gave up his grocery store for a gas station in 1923. The city was ready for the imprint M. E. Gillioz was to place through his construction company and civic contributions. While the Gillioz Theater is gone, Monett citizens still use the old National Guard armory (now a recreation center) and a bank building, among others. By the time the Frisco left in the mid-1950s, Monett had survived regular flooding of Kelly Creek and several fires that burned important buildings and had embraced its more diverse agricultural and manufacturing economy. It remains a vibrant community with diverse industries and friendly residents.

Mountain Rails of Old
ISBN: 1948070782 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2021

Mountain Rails of Old, third book in the Family History Mystery Series. Digger Browning never paid much attention to the abandoned cottage and its long-gone occupants until she accompanied her friend Marty, who wanted to photograph it for a news story. Everything changed when Uncle Benjamin made a huge discovery nearby. What really happened to Samantha and her eight-year old daughter ftwelve years ago? If it hadn’t been for a growling raccoon, Digger might not have badgered enough people to find out. Her friend Holly doesn’t like the ancestors Digger found for her, and Marty thinks she’s distanced herself rather than level with him about how she feels. Digger doesn’t realize that her search for a station on the Underground Railroad will cross paths with efforts to bring Samantha home. And that path doesn’t lead to a safe haven. Join Digger, Marty, and the ornery ghost better known as Uncle Benjamin as they sometimes operate at cross-purposes to solve old mysteries and unlock the mountain’s secrets. Western Maryland at its elusive best.

New Lease on Death

Independently published [Seattle, WA] : 2023

Jolie always has her hands full appraising houses, running the food pantry, and enjoying her family. Enter Buck Brock — an annoying landlord who likes to skimp on amenities and wants Jolie to lowball appraisals on properties he’s buying. He makes Lester Argrow -- usually Ocean Alley's most annoying realtor -- look like a polite uncle. She and Scoobie also decide to let a troubled Iraq War vet back into their lives, and Jolie finds him work cleaning units for Buck. Will Josh’s presence help or hurt her family — especially Scoobie? Jolie’s in the Java Jolt Coffee Shop when Buck’s weekend tenant (a friend of Jolie’s sister) collapses. No one expects her to die so quickly. It’s hard to identify suspects for a carefully planned murder. Or could some evil person have put poison in a Java Jolt product just to cause trouble? Jolie, Scoobie, and friends are pondering this when an annoyed Buck asks Jolie to meet him at a house she just appraised. She’s peeved, but he’s a steady client. What she finds in the house does not encourage tourist traffic in Ocean Alley. As a mom of four-year-old twins, Jolie doesn’t jump into crime solving casually. But figuring out two murders may be a leap she has to take. Join the Ocean Alley crew at they blend friendship and murder.

Rekindling Motives
ISBN: 1467923095 OCLC: [Seattle, WA] :

1467923095 [Seattle, WA] : 2011

When Jolie Gentil appraises the vacant Tillotson-Fisher house, she finds the skeleton of Richard Tillotson hidden in an antique attic wardrobe. He vanished just after his sister married his business partner in 1929. Jolie sees a link to the Fisher family's Prohibition era business and works with friends Scoobie and Ramona to gather clues from old photo albums and ledgers. The present-day murder of Richard's former girlfriend, Mary Doris, tells them they're on the right track. Did the secret she kept all these years finally kill her? Between running the food pantry at Christmas time and escaping a burning building, they hope to figure out who the modern killer is before someone else gets hurt.

Searching for Secrets: Author's Preferred Edition
ISBN: 1470012499 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2012

Usually the woods near her apartment are friendly. But when Christa Heckertt is trapped in a deserted cellar there with a broken arm, the place is decidedly hostile. Christa landed there not long after interrupting an intruder who tried to steal parts from the computers her Iowa City fourth-grade class won in the mayor's competition. But who chased her there? Officer Kirk Reynolds was called from a drug surveillance to investigate the attempted burglary at Buckingham Elementary School. That throws Christa and Kirk together. He wants enough evidence to convict a drug dealer who sells to kids and Christa wants to keep her students safe and get control of her life again. The thieves who want the newly won computers will stop at nothing. They'll kidnap Kirk's niece, run cars off the road, steal, and threaten worse. Christa and Kirk's attraction to each other is growing, but they are too stubborn to admit it. Will it get in the way as they try to decipher an encoded file and learn what the kidnappers want and why it's worth killing to get it? On Halloween eve, the drug dealer Christa and Kirk suspect is behind it all kidnaps Christa to use her as leverage while he plans his biggest score. Will she escape in time to work with Kirk to keep the dealer from making that delivery and find out who the dealer's partners are? Can Christa and Kirk learn to trust the right people--and each other--in time?

Sticky-Fingered Books
ISBN: 1948070812 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2021

It isn't every day that you find a body at your kids' school. Unless you're Jolie Gentil. Then it's more of an option. Someone broke into Sand and Sea Daycare, leaving a broken window and plenty of rain in the director's office. When Jolie hears an angry man say the intruder must have been looking for some books, she remembers the center hadn't deposited money raised at its annual rummage and bake sale. But that's not her business. Her job at the co-op center is to place orders for the food the kids gobble. Scoobie's contribution, as a poet, is to lead a rhyming session with the kids. It's bedlam and they love it. But when Jolie goes into the center for an evening board meeting, she finds a body at the desk of the Sand and Sea director. With help from Mayor Madge, Jolie learns that the daycare center building has been caught up in plans for a boutique hotel and could have to close. Some liked the idea of a sale and others strongly objected. Neither Jolie or Scoobie think it's a good idea for the twins to head back to school until they know what really happened. And when four-year olds clamor to be with friends, it's a good idea to figure it out. Who kills for an old building? Someone does, and they don't like the idea of Jolie learning who they are.

The Twain Does Meet: A Jolie and Scoobie Novella
ISBN: 1948070413 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2019

"The Twain Does Meet" is a between-the-numbers book in the Jolie Gentil series, and while there are joys and problems to discover it's not a traditional cozy mystery. In book 10 (The Unexpected Resolution) Jolie solves a murder, she and Scoobie get married, and they gain a new family member--Scoobie's much-younger half-brother. Book 11 (Underground in Ocean Alley) takes place a few years later, and mystery solving is accompanied by their three-year old twins. I promised readers they would have the story of the twins' birth -- an anything-but-calm event -- but it didn't seem right to mix it with a murder. So, we have a nearly 33,000-word novella that features laughs and angst with the Ocean Alley crew and more than a few surprises. A fun read with familiar characters. Jolie and Scoobie have added 11-year-old Terry to the family mix. A pregnant Jolie is appraising houses preceded by what she calls her beach ball, and Scoobie's learned the hospital where he works may be cutting staff. Just as they are about to buy a bigger house. But something's off at Ocean Alley Middle School. Terry's classmate, Eddie, accuses him of taking some cash from their shared locker, and Jolie tries to heed Scoobie's advice that Terry be allowed to handle some things himself. For Ms. "I need to solve that," it's a challenge. Plus, she's picking up signals that there might be problems in Eddie's home. Can she walk the difficult path between helping and meddling? Jolie tries to balance running the Harvest for All Food Pantry, her work, helping Terry feel at home in Ocean Alley, worrying about Scoobie losing his job, and planning to be a mom. That's supposed to be a fun time, right? And lots of people have advice. Oh, joy. Join Jolie, Scoobie, and their extended family and friends for a heartwarming time.

The Unexpected Resolution: Jolie Gentil CozyMystery Book 10
ISBN: 0986338060 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2017

Wedding days are special, but they don't usually pack as big a surprise as Jolie and Scoobie's New Year's Eve nuptials. Publisher's Weekly says The Unexpected Resolution is a "story about unexpected life events and the honest love that binds no matter what." Scoobie never knew much about his family -- and after the way he grew up, who could blame him for liking it that way? A 9-1-1 call during the wedding changes everything. Suddenly, Jolie has to help Scoobie figure out what he wants to know, and determine who seems to want someone in his family dead. Knowing more about Scoobie's past could change their future together. But a special wedding arrival may cause even more complications. Book 10 in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series brings together the close-knit group of friends and zany Ocean Alley townspeople for a very special event. You don't want to miss it!

Tip a Hat to Murder
ISBN: 1540403742 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2016

First in the Logland Mystery Series When the owner of the Bully Pulpit Diner decided to stop letting servers accept tips, he figured the raise he gave them would keep them happy. Apparently not. Or was a side-hustle that got Ben Addison killed? Police Chief Elizabeth Friedman’s investigation collides with frat brothers at the local college who keep goats in the dining room and throw rowdy Halloween parties. Marti and Nick try to keep the diner operating, while local small business owners offer varying degrees of help – mostly not much. Medical Examiner Skelly wants to help the chief with more than the investigation, and a thief wants something Ben hid. And maybe the killer is willing to take another stab at it. Join the people of Logland, Illinois who will tickle your funny bone while the police try to find a suspect. The first book of the Logland series takes you to small-town Illinois, and you'll want to keep coming back.

Trouble on the Doorstep
ISBN: 1948070804 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2021

From Hurricane Sandy to Cozy Corner B&B repairs to Aunt Madge's wedding in three weeks. If Jolie can handle that surely she can deal with a sobbing woman who shows up at midnight playing a scary message on a cell phone. Pooki is frantic about her husband's whereabouts and more than a little 'ditzy,' according to Jolie's best friend, Scoobie. After taking Pooki to the police station the next morning, Jolie figures she is problem-free. Not really. A shady deal for storm repairs at the Ocean Alley Senior Complex seems to be at the root of Steve Oliver's hit-and-run death and missing business partner (Pooki's husband, Eric). When Eric ends up dead at the B&B, Jolie is digging for clues in between burning muffins and appraising houses. But when she doesn't share all that she learns with her sometimes-boyfriend, reporter George Winters, he's grouchy. Jolie is convinced she needs to find the murderer (or is it murderers?) and expose fraudulent repair bids. Not everyone shares her views--not the police, her friend Scoobie, and certainly not the murderer.

Underground in Ocean Alley
ISBN: 1948070081 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2018

Jolie Gentil has sworn off butting into other people’s business. To those who know her, it sounds as far-fetched as finding used bubble gum on Mars. Her life revolves around her husband Scoobie, her twins, appraising the occasional house, and helping run the Cozy Corner B&B. Nothing could drag Jolie into solving crimes. Really. Except maybe a request from the most unlikely source. Sergeant Morehouse is convinced his nephew is not a runaway. Something had terrified the teenager, but before Morehouse could figure it out, Kevin was gone. Jolie has a soft spot for Kevin, who helped Scoobie’s young brother Terry adjust to life in Ocean Alley. Plus, she has a feeling that Kevin saw something he wasn’t supposed to see at the hospital, when he had his appendix removed. She has to make the time to follow her hunch. Kind of hard to balance family, the B&B, and the upcoming Cinco de Mayo-themed food pantry fundraiser. And what about the murder of the hospital's head nurse? Could it be connected to Kevin's disappearance? Adding to the mix is Aunt Madge decision to enlighten the Jersey shore by running for mayor of Ocean Alley. She's convinced a proposed resort will change the character of Ocean Alley. With her husband Harry as campaign manager, she intends to convince voters progress doesn't have to mean lots more concrete. Jolie has faith in her hunches. Scoobie isn't so sure and Aunt Madge believes Jolie needs a remedial course in minding her own business. But Kevin’s life may depend on Jolie’s certainty and her efforts to find him before a killer does. Follow the crime -- and fun -- in the eleventh Jolie Gentil cozy mystery.

Unscheduled Murder Trip: Family History Mystery Series Book 2
ISBN: 1948070723 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing 2021

Digger Browning found her reinvigorated uncle sitting on the kitchen table in the Ancestral Sanctuary, the home she inherited from him. A bigger surprise was tripping over a body while taking pictures at the abandoned train depot. She thinks the body is linked to a long-ago disappearance in her town of Maple Grove. She delves into old records and wonders if the fifty-plus year-old murder relates to her current business and a modern-day death. As she tries to make sense of the past and present, Uncle Benjamin’s spirit roams the Ancestral Sanctuary and goes where Digger goes, including the graphic design firm Digger founded with her friend Holly. He never hesitates to offer a pithy comment. Meanwhile, Digger’s friend Marty wonders if Digger’s odd mutterings mean she’s losing it. He gets more convinced when Digger seems to call to her uncle as someone takes pot shots at the two of them. What happens when an apparition’s medium tells others about the ghost that she alone sees? Will Digger have to lose Uncle Benjamin to get close to anyone else?

Vague Images
ISBN: 1500193534 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2014

Bad enough that Jolie ends up in the emergency room because she tried to avoid hitting a deer. Worse to find a dead woman in the hospital restroom after Jolie gets patched up. As the chief budget cutter at the hospital, Tanya Weiss was unpopular, especially in the Radiology Department, where Scoobie works. In between appraising houses and feeding her pet skunk, Jolie’s on the lookout for a runaway teenager and whoever planted the dead woman in her path. Thanks to Scoobie, she’s also planning another crazy fundraiser for the food pantry—this one a Corn Hole Contest. It’s sort of a bean bag game for grown-ups, and the polite term is Corn Toss Contest. So of course, Scoobie prepares to name winners in the Harvest for All Corn Hole Contest. Just when Jolie’s ready to leave the murder investigation to the police, she gets a surprise—and it’s not a good one. Will her need to know see her hurt—or worse?

When the Carny Comes to Town
ISBN: 1948070065 OCLC:

Lifelong Dreams Publishing [Seattle, WA] : 2018

Jolie never liked the idea of sitting on the plank above the dunk tank for the food pantry's fundraiser at the Jersey shore carnival, but she never dreamed what Scoobie saw that day would leave him battling for his life. Scoobie's ex-con mother shows up and there's a murder to add to the mix. Soon Jolie is doing a lot more than appraising real estate, though even that is complicated by home burglars. Jolie grudgingly seeks help from her nemesis--reporter George Winters--and tries to stay a step ahead of a kidnapper and murderer so she can take charge of her world again. Can she keep her friends safe, and will Scoobie recover enough to plan another silly fundraiser?

Words to Write By: Putting Your Thoughts on Paper
ISBN: 1506166121 OCLC:

CreateSpace 2015

Writing is a learned skill, not something that you either can or cannot do. The distinction between people who seem to write easily and those who do not is more a matter of comfort, exposure, and just plain doing it. This book deals with writing non-fiction, though the concept of developing thoughts well applies to a short story or novel. Do you have an idea for an article? Has your boss said you need to learn to write better? Do you want to write your family history? Learn, at your own pace, how to put your thoughts on paper in a way that encourages others to read them.A combination of instruction and workbook, the concept behind the book is to select a topic that you know well so that you can focus on what you want to write rather than deal with an unfamiliar topic. Fear of writing is reduced, freeing you to think about how you want to present your ideas to others. Do you have to write a lot to make your point? No. This book is a testament to writing briefly can be writing well.