Tales of a Tenacious Housesitter

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Home Sweet Murder: Baby-boomer Meggie Moore finds life in the small town of Pine Lake, Minnesota, a little too mundane even with her part-time job at a local gift shop owned by Vera Cunningham, a spry lady in her 70’s.

Always up for a challenge, Meggie accepts a housesitting position on Spirit Lake even though there has been a rash of burglaries in that area. Walter, her husband, tries to dissuade her from housesitting to no avail.

Meggie’s outspoken friend and side-kick, Shirley, labels Meggie as a nut who has lost touch with reality and vehemently argues that the housesitting job would be extremely dangerous under the circumstances. But when Meggie accepts the position, Shirley is one of the first to visit her at the house on the lake.

Numerous islands dot Spirit Lake and the largest of these is Camper’s Island. Settling in on her first night, Meggie thinks she sees lights flickering near Camper’s Island, but it isn’t until she sees them for the second time that she becomes curious and wonders if they could somehow be connected to the burglaries.

Meggie’s adventure at the lake takes a sinister turn when she, along with Shirley, stumble on the body of a lake neighbor. Meggie and Shirley become suspects in the murder and find it necessary to do some investigating in order to clear their names, but risk their own lives in the process.

Beth Solheim, author of the Sadie Witt Mystery Series says: “Meggie ignores her friends’ warnings and takes a housesitting job in an idyllic lake setting. Simple task? Not when burglary by boat and murder are involved. Senior sleuth Meggie is in for the swim of her life as she uncovers hidden family secrets.”

Jess Lourey, Lefty-nominated author of November Hunt says: “The gentle rhythm and relatable characters make reading Home Sweet Murder like sitting down to dinner with a good friend.”

Home for the Murder: When baby-boomer Meggie Moore is given the opportunity to housesit for a friend in Key West, Florida, she jumps at the chance. Meggie’s husband, Walter, looking forward to completing the first item on his bucket list with a small game hunting trip to South Dakota, is unable to make the trip with her.

Shirley, Meggie’s BFF, had vowed “never again” to become involved in Meggie’s housesitting adventures, but when she discovers her husband plans to go hunting with Walter, she changes her mind and travels to Key West with Meggie.

The working vacation takes a frightening turn when Meggie and Shirley find a man’s body floating in the swimming pool where they are housesitting.

Winging their way back to Minnesota they believe they are leaving the murder behind them and are not prepared for what awaits them back home.

Laura Hansen, Veteran Bookseller and Award Winning Poet says: “Meggie, slightly past middle age and incurably curious, is off on another housesitting adventure with her spirited and voluble gal-pal, Shirley. A housesitting gig in sunny Key West, Florida, ends badly only to be followed by the disappearance of a dear old family friend back in Pine Lake, Minnesota. In this second book in the series, Jarvela once again marvelously invokes all of Minnesota’s Lake Country details—from blueberry picking to fending off mosquitos, from loon carving to ice fishing, and from deer hunting to the lure of casinos—and rolls them into an uncomplicated but absorbing mystery. If you liked Meggie in Home Sweet Murder—and we did!—you’ll want to read Home for the Murder.”

Jessie Chandler, author of the award-winning Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series: Bingo Barge Murder, Hide and Snake Murder, and the forthcoming Pickle in the Middle Murder says: “Theresa Jarvela takes housesitting to a deadly new level. Meggie Moore with sidekick Shirley hit Key West to housesit for an old friend, and murder rocks the Conch Republic. Fast and funny, Jarvela scores!”

Bring Home the Murder: In Bring Home the Murder Minnesota baby-boomer Meggie Moore sets off on another housesitting adventure to a hobby farm in the country. But her dream job turns into a nightmare when she discovers the farm is haunted.

Ghostly rumors surface soon after Meggie accepts the housesitting position but she refuses to be deterred. An unbeliever and not easily frightened, she ignores warnings from well-meaning friends and travels to the hobby farm to fulfill her obligation.

Her reluctance to believe in the supernatural is tested when strange happenings occur shortly after arriving at the farm. As time goes on she finds herself being reeled into the spirit world unable to let go of a line that eventually connects her to murder.

Mary Logue, author of Lake of Tears says: “In Bring Home the Murder, Meggie Moore housesits a farm, taking care of the pigs, the chickens and the horses.  But the ghosts?  A light and heartwarming mystery involving buried treasure, a hidden staircase, and thwarted love—what could be better?”

Monica Ferris says: “I liked the characters, I liked the story. This is a good book.”