The Hayloft: a 1950s mystery features bobby sox, slow dancing, the communist conspiracy, bomb shelters—and murder. Within two weeks after starting his senior year of high school, Gary Blanchard finds himself kicked out of one school and attending another—the school where his cousin, Ralph, mysteriously died six months before. Ralph’s death was labeled an accident, but when Gary talks to people about it, he gets suspicious.
Did Ralph fall from the auditorium balcony, or was he pushed? Had he found a diamond necklace, talked about by cousins recently arrived from England that was supposedly stolen from Dutch royalty by a common ancestor and lost for generations? What about the principal with an abnormal liking for boys? And are Ralph’s ex-girlfriends telling everything they know?
Gary has a talent that helps him “get in good” with a couple of the key girls in his new school’s social/political machine, the powerful Sylvia and the beautiful Natalie. This comes in handy for his quest to find out how Ralph really died. And Ed, his more distant cousin from England who also attends the school, seems to know a lot about Ralph and the lost necklace. It doesn’t hurt that Ed has a pretty younger sister named Kate—or does it?
Things go awry when the father of one of the students is questioned about his ties to communist organizations. The fallout from this upsets the balance of power within the school and could even get Gary thrown out of his second school within a few weeks. Key scenes take place in the hayloft of the barn on the farm where Gary is staying with his aunt and uncle—Ralph’s parents. What happens in that hayloft will affect Gary for the rest of his life—if he survives.
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About the Author
After spending more than a quarter of a century as a pioneer in the computer industry, Alan Cook is well into his second career as a writer.
DANCING WITH BULLS
In Alan's first children's book, Matthew and Mason are on vacation on the Greek island of Crete when they are whisked back in time 4,000 to the Minoan civilization at Knossos Palace. Captured, they escape death by becoming bull dancers on a team with other slaves. Beautifully illustrated by Janelle Carbajal.
HIT THAT BLOT
The fourth Carol Golden novel takes Carol into the exciting and dangerous world of tournament backgammon. She listens to a caller who calls himself Danny on the crisis hotline Carol volunteers for say he is afraid he'll be murdered. A backgammon player, herself, Carol, disobeys the hotline rules and sets out to find and help Danny. She needs all her experience with spies and detective work to survive this adventure.
In the third Carol Golden novel, Carol is abducted by a shady government group and required to help find an old boyfriend of hers she doesn't remember (because of her amnesia) who is trying to bring about the "downfall of the western world." She will travel to all seven continents before she can figure out what's going on.
Having recovered her identity (lost in FORGET TO REMEMBER) if not her memory, Carol Golden seeks out some of her cousins in the second Carol Golden novel, only to find out they appear to be targeted for murder. While trying to figure out what's going on, Carol encounters the Grandparent Scam and a Ponzi Scheme, and finds out that she may be one of the targets of the murderer.
FORGET TO REMEMBER
Carol Golden isn't her real name. She doesn't remember her real name or anything that happened before she was found, naked and unconscious, in a Dumpster on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California. After some initial medical assistance, government at all levels declares her a non-person. She can't work because she doesn't have a Social Security number, which she can't get because she doesn't have a birth certificate. She can't even legally drive a car or fly on an airplane. This is the first Carol Golden novel.
Alan's Lillian Morgan mysteries, CATCH A FALLING KNIFE and THIRTEEN DIAMONDS, explore the secrets of retirement communities. They feature Lillian, a retired mathematics professor from North Carolina, who is smart, opinionated, and skeptical of authority. She loves to solve puzzles, even when they involve murder.
RUN INTO TROUBLE
Silver Quill Award from American Authors Association and named Best Pacific West Book by Reader Views. Drake and Melody are teamed up to run a race along the California Coast for a prize of a million dollars—in 1969 when a million is worth something. Neither knows the other is in the race before it starts. They once did undercover work together in England, but this information is supposed to be top secret. The nine other pairs of runners entered in the race are world-class
marathoners, including a winner of the Boston Marathon. If this competition isn’t enough, somebody tries to knock Drake out of the race before it begins. But Drake and Melody also receive threats calculated to keep them from dropping out. What’s going on? The stakes increase when startling events produce fatalities and impact the race, leading them to ask whether the Cold War with the USSR is about to heat up.
HONEYMOON FOR THREE
Silver Quill Award from American Authors Association and named Best Mountain West Book by Reader Views. Suspense takes a thrill ride. It is 1964, 10 years after Gary Blanchard’s high school adventures in The Hayloft. He and his love, Penny, are going on the trip of their lives, and, oh yes, they’re getting married along the way. What they don’t know is that they’re being stalked by Alfred, a high school classmate of Penny who has a bellybutton fetish. The suspense crackles amid some of the most scenic spots in the western United States, including Lake Tahoe, Reno, Crater Lake, Seattle, and in Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as the redwood trees and rocky cliffs of the northern California coast.
THE HAYLOFT: a 1950s mystery, takes us back
to bobby sox, slow dancing, bomb shelters—and murder. Within two weeks after starting his senior year of high school in the 1950s, Gary Blanchard finds himself kicked out of one school and attending another—the school where his cousin, Ralph, mysteriously died six months before. Ralph’s death was labeled an accident, but when Gary talks to people about it, he gets suspicious. Did Ralph fall from the auditorium balcony, or was he pushed? Had he found a diamond necklace, talked about by cousins newly arrived from England, that was supposedly stolen from Dutch royalty by a common ancestor and lost for generations? What about the principal with an abnormal liking for boys? And are Ralph’s ex-girlfriends telling everything they know?
HOTLINE TO MURDER, his California mystery, takes place at a listening hotline in beautiful Bonita Beach, California. Tony Schmidt and Shahla Lawton don't know what they're getting into when they sign up as volunteer listeners. But when Shahla's best friend is murdered, it's too late for them to back out. They suspect that one of the hotline's inappropriate callers may be the murderer, and they know more about them than the police do.
ACES AND KNAVES is a California mystery for gamblers and baseball card collectors. Karl Patterson deals in baseball cards and may be a compulsive gambler, so he's surprised when his father, Richard, CEO of a software company, engages him to check up on the activities of his second in command. It doesn't hurt that Richard assigns his executive assistant, Arrow, an exotic and ambitious young woman, to help Karl, but none of them expects to get involved in murder.
Alan splits his time between writing and walking, another passion. His inspirational book,
WALKING THE WORLD: MEMORIES AND ADVENTURES, has information and adventure in equal parts. It has been named one of the Top 10 Walking Memoirs and Tales of Long Walks by the walking website, Walking.About.Com.
Alan lives with his wife, Bonny, on a hill in Southern California.