"Detectives Metzger and Jansson sizzle in this smart page turner. Paton's gift for sharp prose cuts to the bone of her well-drawn characters who drive a plot that propels the reader toward the end of this satisfying mystery."

—Matt Goldman, NYT Best Selling Author

"Clever and intriguing... Full of rich details... this well-crafted mystery offers nuanced characters and an unexpected plot..."

—Susanna Calkins, award-winning author of the Lucy Campion historical mysteries and the Speakeasy Mysteries
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If you’re reading this, you trust words. I once trusted words. As a reader/teacher/scholar, I put my faith in them. As a mystery writer, I trust that words will misdirect, deceive, and hide desperate deeds and motives.

About When the House Burns

A Twin Cities Mystery

When death comes home, is nowhere safe? The quest for love and home becomes deadly when Detectives Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger must find a man with no address in their search for the killer of an adulterous real estate agent.


“This is an ambitious mystery that tackles heavy themes, such as the darkness of addiction and the fragility of human existence. Paton adroitly crafts engaging sentences that immediately hook the reader’s attention.”


—Kirkus Reviews

Should Grace Fail tackles addiction issues in a compelling way, thanks to its endearing cast ”

—Foreword Reviews

Should Grace Fail is not the expected police procedural. It . . . succeeds as something more like literary crime fiction. What’s impressive is how Paton captures a diverse array of characters, making each seem credible and fully believable. It’s a good story, worth the careful reading it requires. ”



April, Domestic Violence Books, a Survivors Memorial, Hope and Beauty Reborn

It’s spring. Rebirth abounds in the cold north, songbirds celebrate their return, and flowers dare display their pastel heads. It is not all bouquets since tragedy persists in a pandemic not fully conquered, international strife, and the killings of people of color. Homo sapiens cannot seem to learn live-saving lessons. At the best we are…

Holiday Cookies, Recipes, Gløgg, Minnesota, and Mysteries

Tis the season of mysteries. What’s wrapped under the tree? Which liquor spiked the eggnog? Who will surprise us with a sudden yet abiding kindness? For the devout, mysteries underlie faith—the miracle of lights that burn throughout Hanukkah, the divine birth of Jesus under the light of a star, the burning Yule logs celebrating the…