“Done Running” (2019) “Let the Secrets Die” (2015)

The Jewell Johnson Mysteries trilogy shares the secrets surrounding the death of Sigurd Johnson as his daughter discovers the truth. Let the Secrets Die, Done Running and the new Secrets of San Pedro La Laguna are designed to be read in layers as the reader delves deeper into Jewell’s family story and she uncovers each secret, one at a time. We all face this “coming of age” and so we watch how Jewell decides how to deal with each new glimmering facet of her life.

The idea that our lives are revealed in layers comes from Wisconsin’s forest floor. My father was a forester who taught me that hundreds of years of refuse from the trees above are composted and layered, producing humus, a rich black soil. That verdant soil feeds the pine branches that greet the breeze one hundred feet above. This life and death circle is much like our social lives where any disturbance in the cycle affects the future and shrouds the secrets of the past.

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