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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.

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Welcome to the fictional world of Twin Cities Mysteries, with Detectives Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger. A place where even the privacy of those in charge comes into question.

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Detective Erik Jansson discovers the body in a Twin Cities wetland:

This [wetland] couldn’t be the site of death. The man, the rotting semblance of one, was brought here, dragged and hidden. He wasn’t outfitted for bike adventures or birding excursions. The bloodied necktie retained its knotted symmetry, and the muck-saturated suit suggested formality and fussiness. The skull was damaged, the face already food for worms. When the team lifted the body, the footed shoe became unfooted. Erik picked up the shoe and two items fell out. One was a custom orthotic. The hairs on his neck stiffened. The other was a laminated photo of a girl, an adolescent curled in the fetal position.


White Death and Hot Coffee: Minnesota, Frankenstein, Norway, Poe, Erdrich, and Fargo

MURDER BY WEATHER The Deception: the sun gleams on luminous snow and makes the rimed trees shimmer. The sky is bright blue. Chickadees flit at the bird feeder. How welcoming! Step outside and you and your pathetic goose-pimples will die. Maybe not immediately if wrapped in dead fur and feathers. But heed the warnings because…

Mysteries, Farms, and the Incidents of Dogs in the Nighttime

FARM MYSTERIES Animals went missing. Those were the first mysteries of my life. When I was growing up in rural Maine during the 1960s, dogs and cats were free range to do their jobs. The dogs chased down rabbits and woodchucks, meaning fewer holes in the field to snag cows, ponies, and farm machinery. Cats…