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The Desert Hedge Murders
SECOND NOVEL IN THE SYLVIA AND WILLIE MYSTERY SERIES
is available as an e-book
for Kindle and Nook
More About The Prairie Grass Murders
Setting: The story begins in farm country near the fictitious
Sangamon City in central Illinois, very close to the area where I
grew up. And the farm where the bodies are found? Yes, there's a
remarkable similarity to the farm where my younger brother and I
were raised. Authors' memories do have a way of sneaking into
their fiction, sometimes before they even realize what's happening.
Natural areas where native plants and wildlife can survive exist in
many areas of the country. I was thinking of Middlefork in Illinois
when I wrote this book.
Forest Preserves of Champaign County
The North American Prairies
South Florida was also familiar territory for me, especially Boca
Raton and Delray Beach. And when Sylvia talks about her favorite
hangout, Boston's On the Beach, where she can relax over a
crabmeat salad sandwich and a Corona, she's talking about a very
Characters: None of the characters in this mystery are based on
real people, although I borrowed my mother's first name for my
protagonist Sylvia Thorn.
There are some mean, low-down rascals in the book, as you would
expect. I don't personally know anyone like them, thank goodness.
Plot: I picked a place and a couple of characters, sat down at the
computer, and started typing. Unfortunately, that may be the
hardest way to write a mystery. For the second book in the Sylvia
Thorn series, I'm working from a scene outline.
There are many references to the Kickapoo Indian tribe in this
story. Although their reservation is now located in northeastern
Kansas, the Kickapoo were present in several other Midwestern
states including Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Prairie Grass Murders
FIRST NOVEL IN THE SYLVIA AND WILLIE MYSTERY SERIES
is available as an e-book
for Kindle and Nook
|THE PRAIRIE GRASS MURDERS
Sylvia Thorn, circuit court judge in Palm Beach County, Florida, takes
an unexpected trip to her hometown of Sangamon City, Illinois when
her older brother, Willie Grisseljon, is confined to a county hospital
for a psychiatric evaluation. A Vietnam vet with lingering side
effects from the war, Willie finds a body while he's on vacation.
When he tries to report his discovery to a deputy sheriff, he is locked
up as a vagrant with delusions.
Willie insists on returning to the site where the body is hidden before
notifying the sheriff. Soon he and Sylvia discover clues about the
murdered businessman, his wife, a tenant farmer, concealed Indian
artifacts, and uprooted stands of prairie grass that may help the
sexy sheriff find the murderer. But Sylvia runs into trouble when
she's caught nosing around the old homestead. She hides from the
gun-toting suspects and overhears another murder. Two more
narrow escapes, and Sylvia just wants to go home.
Relieved when the sheriff lets them return to Florida, Sylvia doesn't
realize at first that she and her brother are still in danger. A
mysterious new neighbor with a menacing bodyguard, and new
information Sylvia finds in her legal system database, provide clues
that could solve the murders. Sylvia uses her law enforcement
contacts, as well as Willie's intuitive skills, to provide the missing
links to state and federal authorities, even though she is forced to
make a drastic change in her life as a result.
REVIEWS OF THE PRAIRIE GRASS MURDERS
"...perceptive portrait of Vietnam vet Willie....He is analytically sharp
and acutely observant."
Verna Suit at Mystery Scene Magazine
"Far too often readers of any genre become so attached to specific
authors that they fail to notice up-and-coming authors who have
incredible talent. Patricia Stoltey is one such who-done-it author, not to
Reviewed by Patti Yackulic for Readers Views
"The writing is crisp, the dialogue natural, the setting vividly described. I
look forward to reading more from this author."
See more of Shirley H. Wetzel's review at overmydeadbody.com
"...an enjoyable, challenging, topical novel...
Read Lawrence Mc Micking's full review at armchairinterviews.com
|THE DESERT HEDGE MURDERS
A body in a bathtub is the last thing Sylvia Thorn expects her
mother’s travel club to find when they check into their Laughlin,
Nevada hotel rooms.
The Florida Flippers, named for their long-standing support of the
Miami Dolphins, scatter like dandelion fluff, intent on investigating
a murder case to which they have no apparent connection. From
the elderly wannabe cowgirl with wild red hair to the caustic-
tongued volunteer park ranger in orthopedic hiking boots, the
Florida Flippers keep Sylvia on her toes as she does a little
sleuthing of her own.
But when the Laughlin detectives want to interview the Flippers,
one of the elder travelers and her rental car are nowhere to be
found. The tour group soon makes a grim discovery at the Lone
Cactus Gold Mine near Oatman, Arizona, and Sylvia realizes there
may be a connection between her mother’s club and the body in
the tub after all. To add to the confusion, and Sylvia’s internal
turmoil, the handsome and much younger FBI agent, who
tormented her in so many ways in Florida, is now in Laughlin
showing intense interest in her group’s activities.
Soon Sylvia’s brother, reluctant clairvoyant Willie Grisseljon,
senses trouble. Unable to contact his mother by phone, and
prompted by his father who is equally alarmed, Willie abruptly
abandons his bachelor weekend in Florida and impulsively, with
Dad at his side, flies to the rescue. Willie soon wishes someone
would rescue him instead.
The Desert Hedge Murders is a tangle of puzzling events that
seem to have no connection … until Sylvia and the Florida
Flippers stir up so much trouble that Laughlin detectives, the
Mohave County Sheriff, and the FBI are forced to work together to
reveal the missing pieces.
More About The Desert Hedge Murders
Setting: This time Sylvia and Willie visit a real place that's more
fun than any fictitious ghost town could ever be. Oatman is
located in the northwest corner of Arizona, roughly twelve miles
east of Bullhead City. There you'll find burros wandering the
streets, mock gunfights in front of the historic Oatman Hotel, and
if you really pay attention, you might even contact a ghost or two.
There really is a Sweet Sally's ice cream and snack shop located
in the lobby of the Oatman Hotel. I'll be sitting at the counter
having an ice cream cone sometime in June, and once again in
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drop by my blog
REVIEWS OF THE DESERT HEDGE MURDERS
"The story line is as fast as Freda the amazon drives her bike and
never slows down even when the seniors are a bit tired. Fans will
enjoy this zany Nevada-Arizona whodunit."
Read more of Harriet Klausner's review at Barnes&Noble.com
"Stoltey's madcap mystery is highlighted by the odd group of
seniors. ...The Florida Flippers, and the motorcycle ride from Las
Vegas to Oatman, add humor to a complicated story."
Lesa Holstine's full review is at Lesa's Book Critiques
"The Florida Flippers are an interesting group whose stamina and
dogged determination can only be admired. Author Stoltey’s crew is
not unlike the traveling seniors in Maddy Hunter’s Passport to Peril
series. I would strongly recommend fans of that series to give this
book a try."
Caryn St. Clair at Armchair Interview
|NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS
from Five Star/Cengage
will be available
Newlywed Lynnette Foster’s cop husband punches her in the face, but this first
assault will be the last. She leaves him and boards a flight from Miami to Los
At the airport, a foul-mouthed thug known as Fat Ass Sammy Grick carelessly
switches Lynnette’s laptop case and his own. Sammy’s boss sends a hit man to
recover his property.
To complicate Lynnette’s life, eleven-year-old Grace McCoy follows her off the
plane during the Denver layover.
When Lynnette discovers her husband was murdered a few hours after she
walked out and she’s a person of interest, a killer is hunting her down, and she
needs to protect the runaway child as well as herself, she doubts her life will ever
be normal again.