Monday, January 13, 2020

Mystery Monday: Under Ground The Story Behind the Story

Mystery Monday: Under Ground
The Story Behind the Story

A common adage says that truth is stranger than fiction. That axiom is why some of my books have been inspired by news reports. As time passes, the world loses hundreds of people from the “Greatest Generation.” As a result, their children and grandchildren are finding numerous treasures and associated stories when they go through their loved one’s personal effects. One such incident became the kernel of an idea for Under Ground, the second installment of the Ruth Brown mystery series.

About ten years ago, there was a newspaper headline about a family who tried to sell a painting they’d inherited after their grandfather passed away only to discover the piece had been stolen during WWII. Stunned, the descendants immediately returned the piece to its rightful owners.  Intrigued, I began to research artwork stolen during the war. There were numerous reports about Nazis and German soldiers who had commandeered sculptures, oil paintings, water colors, and other masterpieces.

As I dug deeper, I began to unearth articles about looting that occurred throughout the war, especially during the chaotic last days of the conflict…looting that was perpetrated by soldiers from the Allied troops. Many of the items were shipped home, through the postal system.

Were the military clerks complicit in the activities? What did the soldier’s family think when priceless artifacts showed up in the mail? Did the soldiers think they could get away with the thievery? Apparently, a large percentage of them did.

With dozens of articles in my hands about artifacts coming to light decades after the war, I knew I had my story. I added a twenty-year old skeleton just for good measure.

Under Ground releases tomorrow, but you can pre-order your copy today. Don’t miss the next exciting adventure for WWII war correspondent/amateur sleuth Ruth Brown.


It’s been six months since Ruth Brown followed clues to England and discovered the identity of her sister’s killer. War continues to rage as Ruth reports on food shortages, the black market, evacuation of London’s children, and the bravery of the British people.

When a bombing raid destroys her home and unearths a twenty-year-old skeleton in the cellar, her reporter’s senses tingle in anticipation of solving another mystery. Unfortunately, the by-the-book detective inspector assigned to the case is not interested in her theories. As Ruth investigates the case on her own, she butts heads with the handsome policeman.

Will she get to the bottom of the story before the killer strikes again?

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