Library Journal Enticed by Smashing Debut

Mystery Reviews, September 1, 2011.

Just in case you missed it, here are the Library Journal review citations re my novel, Washed Up. In the print edition, the book cover appears next to the “quotable.” I am beginning to see libraries ordering the book – three systems in Wisconsin, various Minnesota library systems. Exciting to see and I’m hoping that the orders continue to come in as the word gets out and librarians read the review.

Tomorrow I am off to the MBA with signing pens in hand. Should be just as fun as last night’s Twin Cities Sisters in Crime cocktail hour.


Small presses are bringing out great titles: Red Hen, North Star Press, and John F. Blair have offerings that deserve greater exposure. I was enticed by Marcos Villatoro’s latest entry in his Romilia Chacón series, Blood Daughters, and debut novels by Susan Koefod (Washed Up) and Stuart Dill (Murder on Music Row). Give these new books a spin.


“One look at her face revealed the truth. The girl had the startled wild expression of a young bird of prey brought down by a poacher. She quickly composed her expression into a subdued look.”—Susan KoefodWashed Up


A dead baby has been found on the shores of the Mississippi River by shy 11-year-old Abatha. Deeply traumatized, Abatha has been assigned a social worker, Christine Ivory, and in turn, Det. Arvo Thorson is waiting for his chance to question the girl. Christine, suffering from obsessive-­compulsive disorder, and Arvo, a morose alcoholic, grew up together in the Minnesota river town of Somerset Hills and have no use for each other, but the case’s urgency soon forces them to work together. Both puzzle over a meddling politician’s interest in the case; does her pressure signify more than a media moment for her? Then a cold case similar to this one breaks open the logjam, and all players become more desperate. Abatha is in danger now, and Arvo and Christine must trap the perpetrators posthaste. VERDICT A smashing debut with astute observations and gorgeous prose. The finale stretches credibility, but at that point you’re totally engrossed. Koefod has crafted a suspenseful thriller with pacing that mimics the river’s patterns and holds your interest right to the rapids at the end.