Back of the Yard
Coming June 2021
Set in the south Chicago neighborhood of Sinclair’s The Jungle, Betty O’Leary grows up during the Depression, struggling to scrape by in this harsh, foul-smelling, yet compassionate area. The youngest in her Irish Catholic family, Betty is overshadowed by her pretty older sister, and when tragedy threatens to shatter her world, Betty is sent away to stay with relatives.
As grief and loss take its toll on family members, Betty eventually meets Phil, who offers hope for long-awaited happiness. But secrets begin to unravel, and depression gradually descends on Betty. Is a family history of asylums and madness the cause? And unlike her disturbed mother, will she ever find peace and fulfillment?
The story gives voice to those struggling with emotional pain and shows how families can heal with love, courage, and promise. It tells of a neighborhood reflecting America’s cultural changes and how one’s childhood is forever present.
Praise for A Letter from Munich
2020 PenCraft Awards,
2nd Place Historical Fiction
"...thoroughly engrossing as Jack Bailey searches for meaning by way of memories he disturbs...Presenting these conflicts against the backdrop of the rise of the Third Reich and war as seen from the perspective of ordinary German citizens like Ariana and Renate, adds an extra dimension of historical accuracy and reflection to the thriller story...
The choices made by individuals who promote evil and the guilt these decisions impart to an entire nation ... makes for a gripping saga backed by historical prededent and individual lives alike."
— MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"From modern-day Munich to Dachau in the Third Reich, ex-cop Jack Bailey learns life-changing lessons from aging and feisty Renate. This rich and compelling story of love, war and resistance is sure to capture the heart and inspire discussion."
— Sandra Worth, award-winning author of Pale Rose of England
Praise for Blind Eye
2018 Award Mystery-Detective,
Maxy Awards, Runner-Up
“As in the first installment of the Bailey series, the past is always looming in this tale. The police detective’s PTSD both colors his interpretation of events and is affected by them...More than a straight-up police procedural, this tale gives readers the excitement of the chase while taking them deep into the psyches of its diverse characters."
— Kirkus Reviews
“Blind Eye is highly recommended for mystery enthusiasts who also like their stories well grounded in a sense of place and personal struggle as characters confront their blind eyes and uncover new ways of seeing.”
— Midwest Book Review
Praise for Bailey's Law
2017 Award for Best Mystery -Detective, Maxy Awards
“A true mystery for any reader, with enough clues to stay thoroughly engaged, but not enough leads to solve the brilliant ending!”
"The multilayered depth of characterization brings this story to the top of my list for mysteries I enjoy."
"We feel not only the Texas sweat dripping down [Jack Bailey’s] back, but also his guilt, his morality, and the temptation fueling his forbidden sexual desires."
"There is enough detail of the methodical steps involved in crime solving to keep the reader engaged."
"Dynamic characters, realistic dialogue, and beautiful descriptions put the reader there with Jack and his cop friends as they seek justice for the victims."
"An entertaining and thought-provoking murder mystery…This enthralling, fast moving novel is highly recommended!"
"A well-told mystery story that you will savor to the end."
“Jack Bailey is a solid protagonist and the mix of murder mystery and Jack’s PTSD provides a multi-dimensional plot that intrigues from beginning to end.”
— Roger Leslie PhD, author, editor, writing coach