Koefod’s protagonists include a brilliant, but troubled detective and an obsessed, fashionable social worker; a con artist; a dorky 1970’s era young woman; a “lost” 16 year-old girl; the “world’s least magical girl,” and the unlikely crepe.
Whether you like mystery, literary fiction, big cheesy novels, or something else, Susan Koefod has books for you. Interested in her other works, check the Publications tab.
Naming the Stars (Curiosity Quills Press – September 2016)
What if everyone acted as if you had never existed?
16-year-old Mary-Louise comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a boy she calls Fish, a YMCA swimming instructor, but Fish is hiding from a troubled past and the person he sees is entirely different from who she thought she was.
This coming-of-age story explores the important and often fragile connection between the roles we play in others’ lives—as siblings, children, friends, and partners—and the unique identity we must find in ourselves.
Burnt Out (North Star Press, September 2013)
Christine Ivory is reluctantly caught up in the suspicious disappearance of a world-famous geologist, who was about to announce a discovery that would have a huge environmental and economic impact in the small town where she has inherited potentially shale-oil-rich, property. Christine finds crucial evidence and may have to contact someone she never wanted to talk to again – detective Arvo Thorson, her former lover. But she has nowhere else to turn: she’s already had trespassers on her property and fears not only for her property, but her life.
“Prickly-but-principled social worker Christine Ivory is feeling burned out on the job, and retreats to the family place in Minnesota’s north woods. Burnt Out, the third in a richly realized series from Susan Koefod, captures the complex push-pull of home and family, not to mention the dark underbelly of idyllic small-town life. Add a missing geologist and a ripped-from-the-headlines clash over oil and gas rights, and Koefod hits a gusher of motives for murder.”
— Erin Hart, award-winning author of The Book of Killowen
“Koefod skillfully captures the many layers of drama and tension underlying small town life.”
— Brian Freeman, international bestselling author of Spilled Blood
Broken Down (North Star Press, September 2012)
In Broken Down, the death of a swing bridge operator is clearly no accident and a troubled 15-year-old boy and the aging bridge are both under suspicion for murder.
Detective Arvo Thorson is having a breakdown of his own: a drinking binge makes him all too vulnerable to his ex-wife’s treacherous charms, and may put the cork in his romance with social worker Christine Ivory. Meanwhile Christine is burnt out from too many years working with Mendota County’s youngest crime victims and she’s ready for a change, even if that means leaving Mendota County, and Arvo, for good.
Book includes discussion group guide.
“Koefod fulfills the promise of her debut novel Washed Up with this fast, fresh and smart follow-up. Broken Down is the next step in what promises to be to be a first-rate series.
— David Housewright
“In Broken Down, Susan Koefod delivers a splendid sequel to Arvo Thorson’s adventures in life and law. This book oozes with originality regarding murder, plot and character.”
— Julie Kramer, best-selling author of Riley Spartz thrillers, including Minnesota Book Award winner Stalking Susan
“Koefod’s Broken Down is filled with vivid detail, complex relationships, and a remarkable insight into the human psyche.”
Print and ebooks available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other fine bookstores.
Washed Up (North Star Press, 2011)
The shocking discovery of a drowned newborn washed ashore on the banks of the Mississippi River forever changes 11 year-old Abatha Cox and Somerset Hills, the small Minnesota community she calls home.
Lead investigator Arvo Thorson is the only person trusted enough to investigate the baby’s murder, but he’s drowning too — in a toxic cocktail of whiskey, vodka and gin — and his career will be dead in the water unless he can solve the crime. Christine Ivory, the brainy, fashionable and compulsively organized social worker caring for the girl has never been more intent on thwarting Arvo.
The chemistry between Arvo and Christine is undeniable, but neither will admit to it, and their clashes are threatening the investigation, the safety of the witness, and Arvo’s career.
Interested in the real story that set the series in motion? Read all about it here.
“A smashing debut with astute observations and gorgeous prose.”
“A bold new voice in the crime genre!”
–William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of the Cork O’Connor novels
” My kind of detective… washed up and on the case. Readers are going to like this guy.”
–Steve Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of The Weatherman, Silent Snow, and The Wheat Field
“Susan Koefod is a writer to watch!”
–Jess Lourey, author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month Mysteries
The World’s Least Magical Girl (Novel – in progress)
Anyone knows that along with acne, menstrual cycles, and teenage angst, your magical power emerges no later than your 16th birthday. That is, if you are anyone but Mae.
Mae will never have a magical power, which means an uncertain and dangerous future, given her potential inability to defend herself from the criminal use of magic by others.
While her friends and peers become seers, invisibles, flyers, and other magically transformed teens, Mae learns the secret her parents have been keeping from her since her birth: she is the only known unmagicked girl her world has ever seen.
So how does a private recruiter learn about her secret? And why does he want her for an exclusive school no one has ever heard of?
Confused feelings about a boy, whose extraordinary power enables him to “borrow” the magical abilities of others, make Mae even more stubborn, more determined to go it alone, an increasingly difficult plan considering she is an unmagicked girl in magical harm’s way.
Albert Park is perfectly willing to be ‘honest’ with you – and thinks, in fact, that by disclosing the truth about himself, you are at least in full knowledge of his motives and the potential pitfalls of being his friend.
The problem is that he has told so many stories about himself it’s not clear which is true. He may be all, or none of the people he claims to be. The only clear truth is that he’s pretty full of himself.
In Albert Park, Koefod writes both playfully and artfully, crafting a complex, three-part fictional “memoir” with an unreliable narrator. Albert both charms and frustrates in telling his life stories, and the reader is carried along by the undercurrent of the unspoken: the unrevealed truth hidden in Albert’s wounded soul.
Big Cheesy Novel
The Big Cheesy Novel (Novel in progress)
If you’re the kind of person who tells yourself you aren’t a romantic yet cry when sentimental commercials play on the tube; or if you’re the kind of person who proclaims no faith in fortunes and horoscopes, yet read your horoscope everyday, and crack open and devour both cookie and fortune; and/or if you’re absolutely certain that true love does not exist, but still feel you could be convinced otherwise, then the Big Cheesy Novel is the book for you.
(With Melissa Doffing)
A treat to read!
—Kate St. Vincent Vogl, two-time honoree in Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and author of Lost & Found: A Memoir of Mothers
“Set in Paris, the Catskills, Colombia, Helsinki, Spain, and elsewhere, Let Them Eat Crêpes is a graceful and mouth-watering read.”
—Biloine W. Young, author of numerous books, most recently My Heart It Is Delicious and The Dutiful Son – Louis W. Hill
“This enchanting collection explores life and love through the exquisite staple of French cuisine, the crêpe.”
—Jill Jepson, author of Writing as a Sacred Path, and transformative writing coach