Daily Dose

Great News Town, a mystery/thriller about a fictional Illinois town that is terrorized by a serial killer, opens on June 26, 1984. So on June 26, 2012, a free, serialized version of the book was launched on this Web site. Weekly installments are posted on Thursdays. Check back often.

Chapter 104




In a press conference Thursday morning, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of Gary Pfeiffer for the murder of the Park Forest couple, Don and Susan Harlow.  Pfeiffer was Harlow’s ex-husband, and a restraining order had been issued against him because he had threatened her life.  He left his fingerprints on the sliding glass door, where he entered their bedroom, and a splotch of her blood was found on his shoes.
The Jordan Daily News rushed to make over for Thursday’s paper.
 “Sounds like they’ve got this case sewn up,” Hoss said, as soon as the edition was released.
 “Yeah, that’s good, I guess. I mean, that it’s not another unsolved murder,” Josie said as they walked to the break room.
 “But . . . ?” Hoss said, waiting for Josie to finish her thought.
 “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’m glad the ‘Cornfield Killer’ hasn’t struck again,” Josie said, giving a television announcer’s melodramatic emphasis to her words. Hoss laughed.
 “But now,” she said, “ I’m beginning to worry they will never catch him. It’s been almost three weeks now.  Without any new clues . . . .”


Eddie Simms was thinking the same thing as he opened the paper and sat down to read it at his kitchen table. He took a long pull on his beer as he read about Gary Pfeiffer and the “crime of passion,” as Cook County officials were calling it.
He shook his head as he read. Any fool could have seen this wasn’t like the Cade County murders. Those television announcers had been wrong,  as always. There wasn’t even a mention of the unsolved Cade County murders on the front page, so Eddie opened the paper to page four, where the story was continued, to see if there would be any mention there. He paused for another swig of beer as Mae came marching into the room.
 “Edward Albert Simms,” she said as loud as her little voice would go. Then she thrust a dark revolver onto the newspaper in front of Eddie. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
 “What’s this?” Eddie asked, a bit surprised.
 “That’s the latest toy!” Mae stood with hands on her hips. “Dion and Beau were playing with it this morning in the back yard, chasing each other around. A black boy finds guns soon enough without you bringing one home to them.”
Eddie said nothing but grabbed the gun. He flipped open the chamber. It was empty.
 “I know you have to carry one on your job, but you must keep it locked up from the kids. Can’t you just store it at work? Why do you have to bring that in here?”
 “I’ll take care of it,” Eddie said, reaching out his large hand to caress Mae’s cheek.
 “You’re not going to sweet talk your way out of this,” Mae said indignantly. “My babies could have been killed.”
 “The gun wasn’t loaded,” he said and rubbed his thumb softly across her cheek. “I’ll take care of it.”
Mae huffed and left the room as quickly as she had entered.  Eddie stared at the pistol. It was a Smith & Wesson .38, the same kind the sheriff’s deputies carried. He took a hefty swig of beer, and stared again at the gun. He had thought putting the truck away would be enough. After the deputies had stopped by that day, asking questions, he’d moved the truck to his friend’s body shop. He told Mae he was getting a camper top added to the back and would be using her car to go to work. With the truck hidden, Eddie had felt safe.
Now he knew he would have to do something with the guns as well. He wrapped the sides of the newspaper over the pistol and left with it under his arm. 

COMING MAY 1: Tough decisions lie ahead for the Franklin family. But is the community taking down its guard too soon?



The end is near!

      Can't you just feel it? The excitement mounting? The solution to the Cornfield Killer murders is close. The two-year serial will end on June 19.That's 10 more chapters. Don't miss one! Think you know how it will end? Go ahead. Post your comments. See if you can beat Duke and Josie.

Did we mention -- Honorably?

Great News Town is highlighted in the current issue of Writers' Digest Magazine as an honorable mention in their Self-Published Book Awards. You'll find it listed under Genre Fiction. That covers a huge assortment of books so just making the mentioned-at-all list is quite an honor. You can get a taste of Great News Town right here... not only this week's chapter but up to 10 earlier chapters in the archive! The mystery is just about to be solved!

Happy New Year!

Faithful readers of GNT:The Serial Killer Serial are well into the second year of the weekly serial and nearing the climax of the tale. But, don't worry, your new friends in Jordan live on.  Great News Town is the first book in a mystery series. All your favorite newspaper characters return in One Shoe Off. The third book in the series, Full Moon Friday, will be released in June. It's going to be a great new year!

Merry Christmas

A story about a serial killer may not sound like appropriate reading material for the Christmas season. But keep reading. People are more resilient than you might think and can find reason for celebration in the midst of tragedy. The community response is the real story behind Great News Town. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving

As we enter another holiday season, I want to say how thankful I am for all the fans who are following the Serial Killer Serial. Great News Town and One Shoe Off are building fans in Illinois and Michigan, as well as some sales elsewhere in the country and internationally. Thanks Serial fans!

It's beginning to look a lot like...

West Michigan fans of Great News Town and the other Jordan Daily News Mysteries are invited to join me December 5 for a Holiday Book Bash at Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake. I'll be there from 5 to 8 p.m. signing books and passing out my famous One Shoe Off cookies, along with five other area authors. Come pick up your Christmas presents and share a cup of good cheer at the same time. See you then!