available from FIVE STAR Publishing in May 2015 is the first in a series of cozy mysteries set on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where men outnumber women and moose outnumber men and homicides typically involve deer and cars.

Read an excerpt!

FIVE STAR Publishing, May, 2015

When Hatti Lehtinen, owner of a bait-slash-knit shop agrees to take on the role of police chief in her tiny close-knit hometown on the Keewenaw Peninsula, she figures her toughest task will be trying to pry the nickels out of the frozen parking meters on Main Street. It’s the middle of winter and too cold for crime which is a good thing, because Hatti is no Finnish Columbo. She knows worms and yarn, not murder.

But someone wanted lovely Liisa Pellonen dead and when, on the eve of the first annual Christmas festival Pikkujoulu, the body of the reigning Saint Lucy, turns up in the funeral home’s sauna, it’s Hatti’s job to find out who, among the people she’s known all her life, would commit murder.

Review 3/1/2015

“The Nordic background will appeal to those who enjoy Kathleen Ernst’s Chloe Ellefson mysteries, which also concern Norwegian Americans.”


Issue: March 1, 2015

Hoping to increase tourism, the residents of Red Jacket, Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, are gearing up for the St. Lucy’s Day parade and the Pikkujoulu (Little Christmas) festival, events designed to earn the town a stop on the Keweenaw Snow Train. When town father Arvo Maki picks his protégé, Liisa Pelonen, as this year’s St. Lucy, bypassing the traditional method of choosing a young woman for the coveted position, he angers many in the town. When Liisa is found dead, acting police chief Hatti Lehtinen investigates. However, Hatti, owner of Bait & Stitch, the local fishing and knitting shop, is quickly out of her depth and enlists the aid of her sister, cousin, and good friend, along with her estranged husband, Jace Night Wind, whose half-brother is the prime suspect. Details of Finnish culture and small-town life frame Hatti’s investigation, related in the first person. The Nordic background will appeal to those who enjoy Kathleen Ernst’s Chloe Ellefson mysteries, which also concern Norwegian Americans. — Sue O’Brien


Kirkus Reviews


Being the temporary police chief of Red Jacket, Michigan, is no sinecure. Hatti Lehtinen, separated from her lawyer husband, Jace Night Wind, is running a combination bait and knitting shop. When her stepfather is hospitalized, she takes on his job, …