Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New book and new series: The Junker Family Prohibition Mysteries

A few days ago, Hilliard and Harris released my fifth mystery, The Bootlegger's Nephew. This novel is accompanied by a non-fiction supplement, The Bootlegger's Nephew Supplement (published by the author, Sarah Wisseman, as a Kindle download and as a FREE pdf file).

Who is the Junker family? Doc Earl "Illinois" Junker is a 40-year-old family physician and amateur archaeologist with a German wife Martha (nurse and member of the local temperance league), a father (Thomas Junker, a retired physician), and four children. Doc Junker's eldest daughter, 19-year-old Anna, competes with him to be the protagonist in The Bootlegger's Nephew. In this story, "Illinois" Junker uses his knowledge of local geography and archaeology to track down a murderer and break up a gang of bootleggers during Prohibition. 

Bootlegger is set in central Illinois in 1923--in the thinly-disguised town of "Big Grove" (Champaign-Urbana). In order to write this tale, I used local archives, several books, maps, Sears Catalogs, and photo collections, all described in the Supplement. The themes of the novel include making illegal booze and home remedies during Prohibition, medical practice before antibiotics, early archaeology, the changing roles of women during the 1920s, and prejudices against immigrants (especially Germans) between the two world wars.

This website will grow with links to all of the above themes! Stay tuned...

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bootlegger's Nephew is fully published in three editions! They are paperback, Kindle, and Nook. My thanks to Stephanie Reilly at Hilliard and Harris for making this possible. With print-on-demand and the current ebook technologies, the time between book acceptance and publication is far shorter than it used to more waiting years for a novel to be born...