Let’s get one thing straight: The mystery novel is the highest form of literature. At least it is for me. Nearly all the big moments in my literary life seem to have hinged on mysteries.

When I was seven and realized I could read a “real” book – one without pictures on every page – that book was The Secret of Larkspur Lane, by Carolyn Keene, featuring the immortal Nancy Drew.

When I was in my twenties and wanted to write a novel that showed psychological understanding, I happened upon Death and the Joyful Woman, by Ellis Peters. The proverbial light bulb went on. “Wow!” I thought. “It’s possible to write a book that’s fun to read and still has psychological understanding.”

When I was thirty-five I wanted to write something that was firmly grounded in my own culture, and I discovered that Tony Hillerman had laid out a map for the regional novel that any writer would be proud to follow, and he did it in the form of the mystery story.

This web site, I hope, will introduce new readers to the books of JoAnna Carl and Eve K. Sandstrom and will give veteran readers of their books a peek at the books’ backgrounds.

The 15th book in the Chocoholic series, The Chocolate Falcon Fraud, was published in November 2015. For this book Lee’s former step-son, Jeff Godfrey, reappears in her life. (Jeff is a character in The Chocolate Bear Burglary, the second Chocoholic book.) Jeff is a recent college graduate now buying and selling movie memorabilia. He draws Lee into a big film festival which focuses on the classic noir movie 'The Maltese Falcon'. Disappearances and dead bodies ensue, but they finally figure it out.

The Chocolate Clown Corpse, 2014’s hardback, came out in a paperback edition in the fall as well.

The 2016 hardback, The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha, is scheduled for publication next fall. In this one a new employee of TenHuis Chocolade is having a difficult divorce. Her husband’s aunt gets involved and winds up dead. Lee and Aunt Nettie are also in the midst of a nightmare construction project which will double the size of their business, but first is doubling the size of their problems. I guarantee that Lee will win out in the end!

My grandmother in her later years became a big fan of “Gunsmoke.” When I asked her why, she said, “It always has a good moral.”

That’s how I feel about mysteries, at least the kind I write. You can count on them to end right. All the questions raised in the story are answered. The good are rewarded, the bad punished. The story has a beginning, a middle, and an end – and it’s not ashamed of it. Mysteries engage the intellect, but still allow us to escape our daily troubles and tribulations.

Add a little chocolate, and you’ve got literary heaven.