Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

The Loser Mysteries

Loser is like no character you've met before: homeless, dirty, and mostly silent. Join her as she fights her way back from the dark places she's been. Find out why she fell into despair. See if she can learn to cope again, to sleep in a bed, meet someone's gaze, and possibly accept there's something worthwhile left in her life.


Killing Silence (Book #1)


Loser sleeps in alleys, washes up in gas station rest rooms, and eats when she can. Lost in her own misery, she barely notices the hardships of life. 
When a child captures her attention and that child's welfare is in doubt, Loser calls on long-forgotten resources to help. Can someone who lives among the lost become a rescuer, or will her demons--and a vicious murderer--defeat her?
(Discussion Questions for Book Clubs below)

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Killing Memories (Book #2) 
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  Upset by the attention surrounding her as "The Homeless Hero," Loser escapes Richmond and returns to her childhood home. She plans on a quiet life in the mountains of West Virginia, but circumstances change. A former foster sister arrives on her doorstep with her teenage son, pleading for shelter. 
When the woman disappears, Loser is left with a boy who doesn't want to believe his mother abandoned him and a mystery that will lead her into danger. As with most things in life, change brings opportunity. Loser forms new relationships that confirm she can return to full participation in life--if she lives through present dangers.

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Killing Despair (Book #3)
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 When two disappearances in Richmond seem related to crimes the police laid at her door, Loser returns, determined to find out what happened the night her world fell apart. Once there, she again finds herself the main suspect in a murder. 
To escape arrest she fades into Richmond's underworld, taking on her familiar Loser persona. She's protected by old friends, but it's soon clear she needs more help than they're able to give. Should she ask Alex to come to her aid, or will she simply be putting him in danger too?


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Discussion Questions: Killing Silence

1. From the first page we see the difference between how the world sees Loser--as "out of it"--and her own sharp perception of what she is. If you'd seen her in the alley behind Verle's restaurant, what would your reaction have been?

2. The setting, the area around Grace Street in Richmond, Virginia, is as described. Would changes to the story be demanded if it happened in Detroit or Miami?

3. One of the things we find admirable in Loser is her willingness to work. In addition to providing a little cash, what do you think the jobs Loser does around her neighborhood do for her?

4. There are times in the story when Loser feels sorry for Kathleen. Does Kathleen have redeeming qualities or even a good excuse for her behavior?

5. Loser's involvement in solving the crime comes from her attraction to Bryn. Did you find it believable that she would react as she does because it's Bryn's dad who's in trouble?

6. As the story progresses, we find that Loser has more support than she imagined. How do characters like restaurant owner Verle, former partner Jacob, and attorney Bert Suggs help her maintain a grip on sanity that could help her begin rebuilding her life going forward?

7. Loser's street friends are a mixed bag of humor and pathos. Which of them do you find touching? Realistic? Frightening?

8. Loser's house on Grace Street represents both terror and safety to her. In your opinion, can she ever return to it? Should she?

9. One surprise in the story is Thomas as Kathleen's lover/henchman. What clues foreshadowed this outcome?

10. Every story needs an antagonist, someone who opposes the main character. Of course we have the killers in this one, but who else makes Loser's task harder by working against her?

11. The overarching mystery in the Loser series is who killed her husband and child. Though the reader gets few clues in this first installment, do you have any theories?

12. The murders of Eve and Keith are solved at the end of this book, but Loser's future is very much up in the air. What strengths discovered in this story can she use to tackle two more mysteries? (Hint: she learns to speak in more than 30 words/day. That was HARD to write!)

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