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Margaret Evans

Official Website of Margaret Evans,
mystery writer, poet, and essayist

See New Poetry Page!

Read the season's best:
"Golden Snowflakes"

Second Treasures Mysteries
"One of the best series of cozy mysteries
I've read in a long time!" (Goodreads)

Watch for spinoff:Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries

Marble Surface


Second Treasures Mysteries

"Oh my gosh, I just finished all of them back to back to back as well as the novellas. Please write more. I loved them!" (Book Group reader) 

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  Laura Keene returns to her hometown in Minnesota to dig into the past and the mystery of her parents’ deaths. But secrets buried in the goods of her thrift shop entangle her in danger, and only an old friend and a mysterious cat can help her in Twice Sold Murder.


  Laura digs into the history of a beautiful hand-made quilt and discovers it may have been an instrument of death in the past. What she uncovers puts lives in danger, and she is faced with how far the killer is willing to go to keep a perfect crime secret in Priced to Kill.

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  The evidence hangs on golden threads found in a suit in Laura Keene’s thrift shop. During the town’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, a terrible discovery is made, bringing a treacherous tale of jealousy and greed to light in Hanging By a Thread.

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  When is a prom not a prom? When it's a staging for murder! Laura investigates several perilous cold cases of missing prom queens when a beautiful dress shows up in her thrift shop. She soon discovers that it was once either someone’s dream or despair in A Dress to Die For.

A box of old books in Laura's thrift shop draws her to a ghostly, boarded-up library, to research the tale of a young girl who disappeared decades ago. She is determined to find out what happened to the child and her connection to Laura's murdered parents in Deadly Cost of Goods.

  Laura's worst nightmares are just beginning. Fate turns on her as she rips apart a far bigger conspiracy during her relentless search for her parents’ killers. She kicks it into high gear in a desperate attempt not to become the latest victim in All Sales Final.


   Something is amiss in the Halloween Haunted Woods in Raging Ford, Minnesota, this year. Laura Keene and her friends handed the reins over to several eighth-graders to run, but, oh my! What is going on??

   Bags of Halloween treats are vanishing in the darkness, some floating up into the air. Hisses and soft whiskers are tickling the noses of some of the kids, but there's no one there! 

   Keene and her fiancé, Sgt. Connor Fitzpatrick, dig into what's happening and shoo away some stray bats, suspecting dark forces may be responsible, but who... or behind it all?

New mini-mystery Prequel #1 to The Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries


  What on earth is hap-pening in Raging Ford, Minnesota, this Thanks-giving? 

 Laura and Connor are trying to finalize their wedding plans, but when Isabella dips her paw into those plans, anything can happen.

      Including murder when a Turkey Circus comes to town.

 Instead of roasting turkeys, mashing potatoes, or baking pumpkin pies, the townsfolk end up... doing what? Certainly getting a little distracted!

  Watch out for the flock (or rafter) of wild turkeys running through the town!

New mini-mystery Prequel #2 to The Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries


Holiday and wedding plans spin everyone’s heads as Laura and Connor set their wedding date and finalize their vows and first dance. Isabella tries to keep everything going as planned, but unexpected reindeer issues and a dead body at the Christmas tree farm threaten to cancel the wedding! Can Isabella work her magic to pull everything back together in time?





New mini-mystery Prequel #3 and

INTRODUCTION to the Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries 







Margaret Evans

A secret past resurfaces when Steven Walker, U.S. Marshal and former Navy S.E.A.L., is assigned to relocate Angela Morrissey, a potential witness against a ruthless crime syndicate. The pair is dragged into a hailstorm as they try to escape the mob’s wrath, but the real disaster happens when Walker’s past and present collide on a boat in the North Atlantic in The Lethal Limit.

It's Angela Morrissey's turn to save people's lives and carve her niche in the halls of WitSec. She's paired with a couple of Steven Walker's old pals and faces new challenges in the world of witness protection. Her first two relocations are successful, but on the third one, Angela has to call on all of her skills, training, and resources to save a family and see Steven again.

Coming soon!

Six Cozy Mystery/Thriller Novellas!
"Best beach reading!"
"My favorite is 'A Canvas of Deceit!'"


  “I buy art,” the charming Michael O’Halloran told Emma Bishop at her art studio in Carmel, California. But was that all he did, Emma wondered, when some of her priceless works went missing and Michael disappeared. Bishop travels to Budapest to find O’Halloran and see if he has stolen more than her heart. A fast-paced tale of grand theft and deception.

New cozy mini-mystery NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.

  Allyse Berringer works with top embassy aides Thomas Gabriel and American-born Iranian Aref Hamid at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on secret codes and terrorist commu-nications. But an attack on Allyse’s convoy from the American base at Bagram sends her scurrying on foot through the streets of Kabul where she makes a shocking discovery that some-one will kill to protect.

New cozy mini-mystery thriller NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.

  Jack Damien, a S.W.A.T. team captain, thinks his job is over when he takes live grenades from the hands of hostage Beth Harrow. Little does he realize that her twin Macy has entangled them in her mob connections, and they are dragged into a vortex of evil in the romantic Caribbean Islands in Hostages to Murder

New cozy mini-mystery thriller  NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.


  Little did Katherine Bennett guess that a nasty childhood prank she suffered was connected with recent attacks on her friend Adrian Wellingsley and his family. When the ante is upped to murder, she applies Aristotle’s logic to the mystery and makes a horrible discovery that jolts everyone’s lives. Set in rural England in 1899, The Curse of the Mandreill Dagger is a powerful tale of greed.

New cozy mini-mystery thriller  NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.

  Virginian Sarah Kenning travels to Scotland to find her missing brother on his mission to follow clues and solve recent family murders. No one has seen him since, however, and when Sarah meets a welcoming cousin and a wealthy sheep ranch owner, she is caught in a web of danger and intrigue against the breathtaking backdrop of Scotland. An early twentieth-century tale of treachery sure to delight any mystery fan.

New cozy mini-mystery thriller  NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.

   Freddie Prszynski is an FBI Special Agent from Vermont who volunteers for a short diplomatic mission in the Far East. But something goes terribly wrong when a scientist dies, and Freddie ends up in a Chinese prison. Follow Prszynski as he unravels the truth, bit by bit, and discovers a betrayal with the help of his wife, a journal, and St. Jude in The Tao of Murder.

New mini-mystery thriller NOW AVAILABLE in Amazon Kindle only.


Two anthropologists lead an expedition into California's Central Valley to explore the unimaginable possibility of finding the Maya that all but vanished in the ninth century. They discover ancient hiero-glyphics that tell of the approaching end of the Fifth World, vast treasures and fantastic technology, hidden for centuries in preparation for the new age. As the fateful time draws near, Amy Parrish and Joe Magee must stop an international plot to destroy the Maya and the earth itself, in The Sixth World.

  Pieces of rare, polished jade from Guatemala keep finding Amy Parrish. In the mail. Passed by strangers. All left in secret but intended to unlock one. Parrish soon discovers that the pieces are the key to an ancient manuscript that tells of two Mayan bloodlines competing to lead in the Sixth World. Lord Xarantu must fight Umoxtl in a horrid battle that tips the world onto the brink of darkness and chaos in Trial in Jade: The Mayan Return.

  The Maya build their new age, but a terrible accident happens and global greed for power in a world of change threatens to tear the throne from the Mayan people. Marxan faces the ultimate sacrifice, and Amy Parrish deciphers the riddle in an ancient Mayan text to save the earth. During the final hours of the Mayan calendar, the Lord Panhuaja, from the banished tribe, seeks to find...the answer, in Kingdom Come: The Mayan Answer.






  When Laura Keene and Connor Fitzpatrick buy their first home, they know an empty house down the block is “haunted” by multiple ghosts. But their lives change dramatically when Laura digs into the checkered past of the haunted house and discovers the story of a wealthy previous owner whose unsolved death was deter-mined to be…death by mis-adventure in Barrel of Money Murder.



New cozy mystery series (sequel to the Second Treasures Mysteries) premiering and releasing soon.

  What do bonsai plants and the Shady Elm Inn resort hotel have in common? Quite a lot, Heather Brenard discovers to her horror when two mysterious deaths put her in charge of the hotel. Threats against the hotel's absentee owner and a fight with the owner's cousin who believes he is the rightful owner of the Shady Elm Inn lead Brenard to untangle the threads of a vengeful plot. The hotel goes up in flames and she fights for her survival in The Harmony of Revenge.

First in a new cozy mystery series premiering and releasing soon.

Sophie Hammond's husband Rich disappears on a corporate cruise and with no company life insurance payout, she must support herself and two children. When she gets an analyst job with her husband's former employer, she begins to notice things that don't quite jibe. Cryptic messages reach her from time to time, and she begins to wonder if Rich is still alive and who wanted him Out of the Equation. And why.




New cozy mystery series premiering in 2023.


A peek into the poetry of Margaret Evans!

In light of the winter holidays, one of her annual, premier family poems sent to her grown-up children is shared below. This one is from 2015.


"Golden Snowflakes"

Golden snowflakes were falling ever so softly,
Not your usual in winter sight very too oftly,
Frankly startling for this year’s holiday season,
And nobody knew quite whatever the reason.

But there they were falling, all sparkly and gold
From shimmering clouds so bright and so bold,
Each one was so different, each true and too matchless,
Making layers of gold like glimmering caresses.

Only one North Pole elf knew the whole golden story;
His name was Heddwyn but he sought not the glory
For all he had done o’er the years for dear children
Or the smiles he had put in the hearts of his brethren.

Heddwyn instead prayed for one great big antic--
A bolt from the blue to wake up hid magic,
Fallen long ago sleepy in children grown older
And sorely in need of a nudge slightly bolder;

To re-find the spirit of joy and the wonder
That faded as childhood now all ran asunder.
And Heddwyn thought of this one big surprise
To bring it all back…and open their eyes!

He’d had no idea the surprise nor its shape
And was just as amazed as everyone gaped
To see the gold snowflakes covering the ground
Here, there, and everywhere all the world round.

In warm climes, hot climes, mild and the cold
Everyone stopped, all the young and the middles, and even the old,
To watch the flakes falling, some sticking, some melting,
Big blankets of golden on everyone’s felting.

They reached out their hands and it was cold but not cold
Just fun and so pretty and nice when all told.
Batting snowflakes, big and small, and too many to count
Back and forth, up and down, whirling loops to surmount.

A middle-aged couple was sticking out tongues

To catch golden snowflakes and make them feel young.
An elderly man raised his cane in the air
And crinkled his eyes, grinned and started to stare.

On the top of one building, Heddwyn saw two men laugh
As they piled up big balls of gold snow with a hat.
And below Heddwyn grinned as a young adult pair
Got over their gloom and a gold snow cone they shared.

Gold snowy forts and battles took place
All day long with grinning gold smiles on all faces.
And the rivers and lakes froze with much golden ice
Drawing skaters from everywhere, glowing with spice!

Folks stopped their work and took time to sled hills
Even those in the tropics enjoyed all the thrills
Of the golden snowflakes that fell on that day
And there was no one who hadn’t a smile all the way.

The day after this wonderful miracle took place
Chores and work tasks resumed at a heavenly pace.
For everyone’s hearts were renewed in that way
By the simple joy of a golden and snowflakey day.

The years may have passed, but the joy stayed in tow.
And no one forgot the day of gold snow.
Like the wishes that Heddwyn and all found that night,
May you have golden snowflakes to make your heart light!



(From Christmas Poems for my Grown-up Children, © 2015, by Margaret Evans)

In The Press

Six Cozy Mystery Thriller Novellas!

     Evans offers mystery fans the best in murder, mayhem, deceit, and intrigue. Her clever tales sweep the reader from the Victorian Age to the early twentieth century to contemporary times, through California, Asia, Scotland, England, Hungary, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.



"Another adorable prequel to the Laura Keene mysteries. Empress Isabella is a great character— a cat who is visible to only Laura and her fiancé. Oh, and she helps them solve crimes! Laura and Connor are supposed to get married on December 27, but is it going to happen or not? There are several crimes to solve, but as a police officer, Connor is having trouble assuring Laura that nothing will interfere with the wedding. I adore the character of Laura and can’t wait to see what happens next. I can definitely recommend this book and series."

(Kara Marks, national reviewer)

"Laura and Connor are in the final stretch of getting married and when a group of reindeer are kidnapped, the race begins to see if the wedding is still on! I loved this Christmas cozy and the role the fabulous feline Empress Isabella plays in solving the crimes. Laura is a "down to earth" character you'll love. If you enjoy cozies with a little paranormal twist, like I do, you'll be hooked on the series! The townspeople are fun and quirky and Laura's fiancé provides the perfect amount of romance and support. Are the reindeer found? Do Laura and Connor make it to the church on time? Cozy up and find out with this fun holiday mystery!"

(Jerri Cachero, national reviewer)



[Twice Sold Murder] is an excellent start to a fun series!  Evans is a master at misdirection and red herrings. Fantastic series, great character development!” (Kim Heniadis, national reviewer and author)

“Margaret Evans’s writing is a delight! Excitement and intrigue on every page.” [Priced to Kill] (Anne K. Edwards, national reviewer and author)

"Twice Sold Murder is a real page turner! I was hooked! You really have no choice but to be a devoted fan.” (Cozy Mystery Book Reviews)

"Deadly Cost of Goods --What an excellent book! I loved the protagonist, the mystery, and the writing. I highly recommend this series.” (Kara Marks, national reviewer)

"Twice Sold Murder - A scary tale, with a plucky protagonist. Just my kind of read." (Mary Ann Walsh, Amazon reviewer and journalist)

"[Twice Sold Murder] is a really good piece of writing."

(Paul Lappen, Amazon reviewer)

“I Could Not Put This Book Down. This was an enjoyable mystery with an ongoing theme that will be further explored in future books. Twists and turns make for one of the best mysteries that I have read in a while.”

(Amazon "Avid Mystery Reader" review)


"I love spooky, but not too scary, Halloween mysteries and this prequel to The Laura Keene Mysteries, was perfect! It has all the cozy elements I love - a relatable main character, a charming small town, a love interest that doesn't overshadow the story and, most importantly, a mysterious feline - Empress Isabella -that is one step ahead of everyone! (Jerri Cachero, national reviewer)

"A great Halloween read!"

(Cozy Mystery Book Reviews)

"This is a really cute prequel [to Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries] and definitely got me into the Halloween mood. There are even a few chills regarding the ghost of a little boy who died at Halloween long ago. I’m eager to read the next prequel." (Kara Marks, national reviewer)



"What a great holiday read...with a side of murder!"

(Cozy Mystery Book Reviews)

"The Empress Isabella novellas are fun introductions to Laura Keene, a sleuthing business owner. I love that only Laura and her boyfriend can see the magnificent feline, Isabella. That makes for humorous and fun adventures. When a sketchy circus promoter comes to town, offering his Turkey Circus as a family friendly treat for the holidays, Laura and Isabella are on the case.

I'm impatiently waiting for the third book, to see Laura and Connor take their wedding vows....unless, of course, another mystery pops up in the small village of Raging Ford!"

(Jerri Cachero, national reviewer)



​ "I loved this book [The Lethal Limit]! Incredibly well-written and such an exciting story. There is really good character develop-ment, plenty of action, and a little romance. The ending was great!" (Kara Marks, national reviewer)

A terrific read [The Lethal Limit] for anyone seeking excitement and entertainment. (Anne K. Edwards, national reviewer and author)

"The Lethal Limit by Margaret Evans kept me turning the page to see what was going to happen next. Either Evans worked for WitSec and is a twin herself, or she’s done a lot of research because the details she incorporated were excellent. I loved the very end ending, which was perfectly done. You'll want to give it a read." (Kim Heniadis, national reviewer and author)

"Readers will love the action and the excitement." (Missi's Book Reviews)


(Mini Mystery #1) 

"Tight, intriguing and well-written. A nice escape!" (Kara Marks, national reviewer)

"A great short story heist." (Kim Heniadis, national reviewer and author)

"Will capture your attention immediately!" (Cozy Mystery Book Reviews)


(Mini Mystery #2)

"You are a really good writer!" (A Minnesota reviewer)


(Mini Mystery #3)

"A nice mystery. Good job! Waiting for the next one." (S.K., a Montana Fan)


(Mini Mystery #4)

"This little book [The Curse of the Mandreill Dagger

will while away the odd half hour very nicely."

(New Mystery Reader)


(Mini Mystery #5)


"If you keep writing, I'll keep buying. I love your stories!" (A Maryland reviewer)



(Mini Mystery #6)

"The Tao of Murder is a well told tale.” (Anne K. Edwards)

The Tao of Murder contains every element a good mystery should: subtle clues sprinkled throughout and a surprise ending. A delightful read.”

(Ibbetson Street Review)

Customer Comments

(Customer Comments come from this website (feedback), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, book group posts, book club comments, email, and text messages.)




A great plot involving murder, arson, family feuds and attempted murder. Great characters that slip into this well paced book and leave a lasting impression."

(Amazon customer review)

"Wonderful storyteller! A mesmerizing plot!" (Amazon customer review)

"The main character, Laura Keene - we can all relate to her feelings and the author does an amazing job of pulling us into the storyline.

(Amazon customer review)

"I found it to be an enjoyable and intriguing mystery, with plenty of interesting characters, as well as plenty of clues and suspects, to keep the fire going." (Goodreads review - Ryan Hoffman, author)

"I loved Twice Sold Murder. You are such a great writer!"

(Customer comment)

"I feel like I'm right there in the story with Laura."

(Customer comment)

"Awesome Story!! I loved all the suspense and the not knowing who was sneaking around until the end!" (Amazon customer review)

"Well written. Great plot. Interesting characters that are lovable and easy to relate to. I am so happy I found this series." (Amazon customer review)



“Written in a whimsical style with just enough good friends, romantic interest, and drama to get you involved so that you cannot put it down. I loved reading these books. If you like real, thoughtful, well-written mysteries, this is the PERFECT relaxing read!" (Amazon customer review)

Always entertaining!!” (Goodreads customer review)

"A GREAT series to get lost in!!” (Goodreads customer review)




"I read the first three books and LOVED them!!!! Can't wait for the next book." (Customer comment)

"Not only did I enjoy the first three; I gave a set to my friend for her birthday. We're both mystery fans. We'll look forward to reading the entire series." (Customer comment)

"Each one of the books in this series just keeps getting better and better!! You will not be disappointed if you chose to read this series!!!!" (Customer review)



"What fun. I can't wait to see what happens next." (Customer comment)

"I love the suspense that this series holds! I can't wait for the next and the next! I love getting to know all the characters and the surprises!!!?? I didn't want to put this book down." (Goodreads customer review)

"Great read!!! I love the suspense in the mystery!! I love the characters in this town and how quirky some of them are! Isabella cracks me up!" (Customer review)


“Any news on book 6? I'm thirsty for more...Anxiously waiting!" (Customer comment)

Oh another great book in this series!! I had a hard time putting this one down. The suspense is damn near killing me! I honestly love how the mystery gets solved and yet at the same time the intrigue grows! One more book and I can’t wait to read it. This book was a bit more emotional, but at the same time I was happy for closure for Laura and the town of Raging Ford. It still begs the question of who is responsible? I’m also loving the growing relationship between Connor and Laura 😊 ” (Goodreads customer review)

"I've reread all the other Second Treasures books and long for the next one." (Customer comment)




"A superb series!"

(Goodreads customer review)

"I really did enjoy your book series."

(Customer comment)

"I've enjoyed reading the entire series (Second Treasures Mysteries) of cozy mysteries. These books are filled with interesting twists and turns which keeps you reading on and on until the end. Now that book #6 is complete, I'll miss reading the next one but look forward to the next series, LAURA KEENE COZY MYSTERIES." (Amazon customer review)

"I just finished the last of the Second Treasures series and look forward to the sequel. I so enjoyed them all."

(Customer comment)

"The author is great at the pockets of suspense. And I love her description of the characters and the backgrounds and backstories! I encourage anyone who loves a good mystery/cozy mystery to definitely read this series!!! You will not be disappointed!!!

(Amazon customer review)

"Wonderful, Wonderful Series!!

This is the last book in the series and I am so sad to see it end!! But I was so excited to find out what happened!! I just can't say enough great things about this author and her writing and the stories that she's telling in this series!! Please, please do yourself a favor and read this series!! It is well worth your time and you will not be disappointed!!!"

(Amazon customer review)

"Great series. I only wish there were more of them." (Online Book Group comment)

"Love your books!" (Online Book Group comment)




"Very, very good suspense mystery!! It keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end! What a wonderful new author I found in Margaret Evans!!" (Amazon customer review) 

The Maya Earth Trilogy

"With a plot that never slows, The Sixth World draws the reader in from the start and never lets go." (Round Table Reviews)

Trial in Jade - "Margaret Evans has a real winner in this series. She is a remarkable writer, skilled in plotting an intricate mystery/ thriller." (

The Sixth World is a treasure trove!” (

“Read the whole trilogy—it’s that good.”

(Amazon Vine Voice)

"The Sixth World is a really good thriller story!" (Midwest Book Review)

"The Sixth World is an expertly written, flawlessly plotted mystery thriller.” (Ibbetson Street Review)

"The town [of Raging Ford] is gearing up for their holiday Reindeer Cheer Festival which is going to include real reindeer but there is a wedding planned as well!! However when some reindeer are reported as missing and some town people are missing as well, Laura cannot help but do some investigating into their disappearances. Evans sure knows how to put the words to the pages to keep you turning them."

(Cozy Mystery Book Reviews)

Marble Surface



"Fiction writers live

on several planes

of reality. The best among us can convince you it's all real, too."


(©2012 Margaret Evans)

A native of the Washington, D.C., area, Margaret (Meg) Evans is a graduate of Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Margaret is married with five grown children and has been writing since grade school, beginning with her first "tall tale" called "Jake Hornhog." She managed legal departments and specialized in contract writing, compliance, and contract filings, plus corporate policy, in a career that spanned health care administration, litigation offices, pharmaceuticals, and the parking industry. She claims that "legalese" just sort of jumps out at her (instead of how it puts others to sleep) and currently lives in British Columbia, Canada. 

Her poetry, cozy mysteries, and action/ thriller novels and novellas are popular in numerous countries, and her fiction and non-fiction short stories and humorous philosophical essays were published in literary magazines and journals, including Fullosia Press, Prose Toad, ken*again, Underground Window, Palabras Press, NuPenz, Ascent Aspirations, and others.

Evans has expanded her repertoire to include more treatises and philosophical essays to include such weighty topics as ethics in business, science, and social issues.

Evans has penned:

THREE "PREQUEL MINI MYSTERIES" TO THE LAURA KEENE COZY MYSTERIES: Empress Isabella and the Halloween Caper; Empress Isabella's Disastrous Thanksgiving; and Empress Isabella and a Cracklin' Christmas. The third of these mini-mysteries is the Introduction to the Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries (coming in 2023), a spin-off from the Second Treasures Mysteries - With the same characters you came to know and love, as well as the usual craziness with the mysterious feline, Empress Isabella.

ELEVEN COZY MYSTERY and ACTION ADVENTURE NOVELSThe Sixth World, Trial in Jade: The Mayan Return, Kingdom Come: The Mayan Answer (The Maya Earth Trilogy)Twice Sold Murder, Priced to Kill, Hanging By a Thread, A Dress To Die For, Deadly Cost of Goods, and All Sales Final (Second Treasures Mysteries)The Lethal Limit; and The Harmony of Revenge (Book #1: The Shady Elm Inn Cozy Mysteries), as well as six mini-mysteries-("shorts"), available in Kindle: A Canvas of Deceit; Code of Treachery, Hostages to Murder; The Curse of the Mandreill Dagger; The Secret of Kenning Hall; and The Tao of Murder (Released across summer 2021 - "Best Beach Reads").

NON-FICTION TREATISES on the current, business and cultural climate, and ethics: Worse Than the Princess and the Pea: Sensitive People in an Insensitive World; and Wants, Needs and Genes. Coming in 2023, Prom Queens and Kings: An Essential Obsolescence, a treatise inspired by A Dress to Die ForSecond Treasures Mysteries).

PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS: "Making the Next Green Light" and "The Alphabet: Your Only Hope for a Long-lasting Relationship." PLUS, two new "poetic" philosophical essays: "I Talk To" and "Do Not Pray for Your Team to Win."

POETRY COLLECTION: Christmas Poems for my Grown-up Children, 10th ed. (Includes Each a Star, The Forgotten SnowgirlGolden Snowflakes; Three Little Kittens; Families, Wishes and Dreams, and a lot more). Plus individual poems: "Ode to Lorelei," included in Deadly Cost of Goods (Second Treasures Mysteries); and "Meetings in Dreams" and "Hurdles in Dreams," both inspired by The Harmony of Revenge, in the Shady Elm Inn Cozy Mysteries). More poetry on the way! A complete anthology of all poems is in production for release in the fall of 2023.

SHORT STORIES: A lot of short stories, many of which were previously published through online magazines. Now, all of them come together in one first-edition collection! Available in winter of 2023 in Kindle only. Includes "A Light Too Distant," "A Clash of Cousins," "A Passionate Pursuit," "Destiny," "Anthropological Quark," "Keeping O'Neill Alive," "Swift Hermit," "Trujillo's Choice," "The Final Six Weeks," "Twins," and many more.

News and Events
Marble Surface


Posted February 25, 2023
Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries
Posted April 3, 2022

   Exciting stuff going on right now! More new cozy mystery series coming your way. So when will you see them?

   With retirement comes a lot of changes, mostly engaging and frequently unexpected. Although I don't feel I've ever really retired from anything because my little stories and favorite characters (plus the ones that show up unannounced) follow me around and keep me busy doing what I love: writing. And I tend to get enthusiastic just anticipating what new adventures in life await me around the corner. I clap my hands and dance (figuratively). As I do now, when we're in the middle of a major move out of the DC Metro area where I was born and lived for a good chunk of my life (except when I lived in Northern California).

   Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries are first up, releasing late fall. Not to worry! They're arriving with the same characters you've all come to love in the Second Treasures Mysteries and more new folks I think you'll get a kick out of meeting. Watch for (and don't miss) the cover reveal on Barrel of Money Murder.

   Next up are the Shady Elm Inn Cozy Mysteries -- a new series! Set in the Seattle area, it begins with The Harmony of Revenge and includes a host of new and fun characters. Our heroine is Heather Brenard, and you can read more about her and the series (and her cat, Sherbet) below in the blog (and in the Pipeline). Look for The Harmony of Revenge in the late fall.

   And third, keep your eye out for another new cozy series, Sophie Hammond Cozy Mysteries, and its first story, Out of the Equation, slated to premiere in 2023. Click on the Pipeline tab for more about this one.



A new "poetic" philosophical essay and a new treatise

coming your way!

Posted May 18, 2021; updated April 3, 2022

"I Talk To"

   A helpful perspective on improving spiritual bonds with friends and family that last in everyone's hearts and memories, this "poetic philosophical essay" will be included in the Poetry, Short Story, and Essay Anthology, available only through KDP/Amazon in Kindle.

Prom Queens and Kings: An Essential Obsolescence

   In an age in which we look at ourselves as belonging to one group ("humans"), it is of paramount importance that we do not convince some people that they are better than others, and some people that they are lesser than others. Find out why and how to avoid the distinction in this unique and realistic treatise on creating a better world. (Poetry, Short Story (including flash fiction), Treatise, and Essay Collection, available only through KDP/Amazon in Kindle format -- coming soon!)

Posted April 25, 2021

Something that NO ONE EXPECTED!

Empress Isabella and the Halloween Caper - Released in September 2021 in Amazon/Kindle only. As you await the first book in the Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries, a PREQUEL novella that HAD to be written! Just to keep you company and maybe even give you a good All Hallows' Eve scare! Don't miss it!




The Harmony of Revenge - a new cozy series coming soon!

Posted on March 11, 2021 by Margaret (Note: Special limited time Premiere Prices will be available at release.)

Exciting new cozy mystery series (Shady Elm Inn Cozy Mysteries, book #1) begins with Heather Brenard at her first real job as assistant manager at the resort called the Shady Elm Inn in Snohomish County, Washington. Two mysterious deaths at the hotel drive her to hunt down the absentee owner and to face his cousin who demands rightful ownership of the hotel. Brenard's sleuthing soon reveals the owner's ex-wife has mounting gambling debts and he is also being pressured to sell the hotel to a group called Harmony Enterprises "or else." She uncovers a vengeful plot when hundreds of bonsai plants are delivered to the hotel, and the building goes up in flames. Brenard helps evacuate the hotel patrons, but who will save her when she is captured, tied up, and thrown into a locked hotel room during the blaze?

Heather Brenard's name: Brenard is a variation of the old French Huguenot name Brenart. I thought it was cool, so here she is.

And from a cat's perspective, Heather and her sister Holly's kitten, Sherbet, wants to say a few words about this cozy mystery: Meow. Merrow. Hiss. Hiss. Meow. Purr. Growl. Meow! Merrow. Meeeoooow! 

(Sorry, but I guess you'll have to read the story to find out what Sherbet wants to tell you. All I can say is that this adorable orange tabby has seen a lot in her young life. She's still a kitten, rescued by the ASPCA, and snuggled her way into Heather's and Holly's (and my) hearts. Keep your eye out for some of Sherbet's antics.)


The Lethal Limit


Posted on February 23, 2021 by Margaret

Below is an excerpt from this action/adventure novel:

   Steven Walker stared at the woman whose life was in his hands. He’d grown up on the Chesapeake Bay, loved the Ballinger Marina Restaurant, but today he dined alone and barely noticed the red and gold slashing the sky. His dark, close-cropped hair reflected some of the September sunset, and his hands were grimy with Old Bay seasoning. He’d been there over two hours, drawing out his meal, watching the redhead a couple of tables away.
   It was no different from any other assignment he’d had with the Justice Department over the past eight years. Only this woman, who knew drastic changes were in her future, had no inkling they were coming so soon. Her abusive ex-husband had agreed to testify against his old boss, a world-class bag of evil. Threats from that boss splashed in all directions. Her only chance to stay out of the vicious vortex was to vanish. Walker would help her do that.
  It was a good year for Maryland crabs, and the restaurant was jammed with patrons. Shouts reached him from the sand where volleyball was in progress, reminding him of the past. He looked over the heads between him and the game. Students, he thought, and a brief memory teased him. The coolers had been filled with beer as these most likely were, and there was a girl. She couldn’t play the game well, but she had been a good sport, and Walker hadn’t forgotten how crazy he’d been about her. But that was a long time ago, in the years when he felt alive.
   Sometimes his past seemed like someone else’s life. A flash hit him, as it still did from time to time, of that fateful day seventeen years before, when his life changed forever. All the years. The secrets. Would anyone ever know the full truth? He wasn’t even certain that he did.
   It’s all about being a twin, he thought. Having someone look so much like you that you switched places all the time and nobody knew. Sometimes it was fun; other times, it backfired. But you kept doing it because you could. Once in a while, you looked in the mirror and thought maybe you were a copy, not the real thing. He wondered if his brother Mark had ever felt that way.
   Walker regarded the crab pile and the shells. They were each unique, like everybody’s personalities and souls. His brother’s and his. Yet no one could tell the boys apart, save their parents. They were even good at swapping personalities when it served them. How would his life have been different had he and his brother not switched characters that one last time? Would Steven be saving anyone besides himself?
   One swap too many, perhaps. But it was all a game, wasn’t it? And they had laughed about who would be quarterback this time.


Wants, Needs, and Genes: Cultural and Ethical Thoughts

Posted by the author - a Treatise coming in 2023

Science has advanced so far into the realm of genetics, that we are almost at a crossroads in figuring out what is right and should be done versus what is just icing on the cake. What should we do in our cultural climate about altering a gene to prevent a disease? What if we want a child with green eyes? Explore the possibilities and all the complex and critical decisions we have to make in the future.

Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries -- Coming soon!

Posted on December 16, 2020; updated April 3, 2022

More cozy mysteries coming your way! Your favorite characters from the Second Treasures Mysteries aren't going away any time soon. Laura Keene and Connor Fitzpatrick buy their first home that's down the block from a "haunted" house. You know this will entice Laura into finding out the stories behind all the ghosts that start the fireplace, iron the clean clothes, open and close doors, turn on the lights at dusk, and much more. With her thrift shop doing better than ever, she is still caught up with "cold cases" from the mysteries surrounding some donations of goods to her shop, but she manages to find the time to look into the really cold cases (brrr!) in the haunted house. What she discovers in both cases often gets her and Connor, as usual, into danger along the way. And whatever else you do, don't forget Empress Isabella and the surprises she has in store! Don't miss this new, exciting cozy mystery series beginning in 2023!

I need to repeat -- Don't forget Empress Isabella and the surprises she has in store!

The first book in the new series is titled 

Barrel of Money Murder!

The “real” Raging Ford, Minnesota, in the “Second Treasures Mysteries” and the upcoming “Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries”

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Margaret

[Note: Click on the links!]

Many have wondered and asked me about this small town called Raging Ford. Are the people there really that nice? How is that possible? And who would put marble floors and walls in a high school bathroom? What’s up with that?


Finally…(drum roll)…the answers! In a previous post, I mentioned that Raging Ford was based on my mother’s home town of Hibbing in northern Minnesota. The riches from the millions of tons of iron ore scooped from the world’s largest open-pit mine in the world (now known as the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine) built this town. It has an amazing history and as the demand for iron ore grew, so did the mine, and subsequently the town and how the founders built the infrastructure.


Hibbing High School was only one of the many original buildings to benefit from the iron ore riches. The halls had marbled floors, the school bathrooms were floored and walled with marble, just to begin. The school library was painted with gigantic murals of the town’s mining history wrapped around the main library lobby walls. Hibbing High was also the first high school in Minnesota with an indoor swimming pool, half the Olympic length. My tour guide a few years back (the principal, now retired) took us to the floor below the swimming pool to see the “windows” (made of thick, thick, thick–did I mention thick–glass) on both sides of the start/end of the pool so judges could “see” who touched the wall first and won the race. So very cool. But beyond that, the student auditorium looked like something from Austria or Paris! Rows and rows of red velvet seats with crystal chandeliers above them faced a spectacular stage.


Bet you didn’t know that Bob Dylan was born and raised in Hibbing. His family’s home is still there, and he played his first “concert” in the Hibbing High School auditorium!


You can see lots of views of all of these wonderful things at Hibbing High School, or Google for more views of the high school and town. If you’re more interested in the history of the town itself, just Google “Hibbing Minnesota history.”


There’s also the most amazing little “house” that was converted to a bigger structure to house all the town’s historical photographs, very similar to the one I “recreated” in fictional Raging Ford. They have everything–all the photographs going back to the beginning of the town. [One recent update here (Sept. 2022): The Hibbing Historical Society has since taken over housing all the historical storage and displays of Hibbing's original photographs.]

Then there’s the Hibbing Historical Museum. My grandmother’s wedding dress is there in the “Kohrt” section. My grandparents were among the “founding or first families” in the town. My grandfather and his two brothers owned and operated the Kohrt Brothers Meat Market, which also sold a lot of “general store” goods. While they lost the store in the 1929 crash, it was one of the original stores in Hibbing, which, like many others, had to be “moved” (dismantled and moved and rebuilt) to a different part of town when the mine had to be expanded to meet the ever-growing demands for iron ore. The move also explained why there is an Old Cemetery (where one of my uncles was buried) and a New Cemetery where all the rest of the Kohrts (and some Keenes - my grandmother's family) were buried (just like in my fictional Raging Ford).


Now for the people. I have never met nicer people than those in Minnesota. They let you into the traffic lane ahead of them if they see your turn signal. No horn honking. And in the grocery store, they stop and let you go ahead of them. Kind, giving, sharing people. My mother’s family used to use the word “nice” a lot. Now I understand why. THEY ARE NICE, not something you see too often, at least consistently, in our busy world these days. I can’t shout this out enough.


I will finish with saying that, regardless of all the riches poured into Hibbing’s infrastructure, the town remains a small town with all of the flavor of a small town, to this day. They welcome visitors, so please go visit there for a taste of something very special.


Author’s Note about upcoming nonfiction treatise – Worse Than the Princess and the Pea: Sensitive People in an Insensitive World

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Margaret

“The concept for this treatise was developed prior to the Coronavirus pandemic that began in 2019, decimating everyone’s lives and killing so many of our loved ones and friends. My greatest hope is our global recovery will not necessarily put everyone back in the same boat in which we struggled to live our lives prior to the pandemic. This treatise may give us all a more enlightened view for successes and balance among all the things we love to do and those that we must.”   (Margaret Evans, August 2020)

The Real Brenda Christmas

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Margaret

The story behind Brenda Christmas (Deadly Cost of Goods)


The real Brenda Christmas, the inspiration for this character, is actually Brenda Todd, a very gifted cake baker/ decorator and creator of unique and beautiful party favors (ones you want to keep forever in a curio cabinet). She throws amazing themed parties with exceptionally designed cakes and party favors. For a peek at her talents, visit her Facebook page, and guess what! She has expanded her recipes to include a lot of Maryland seafood and bakes for curbside pickup in the DelMarVa area. Send her a note and ask to see her cakes and favors as well.


A Companion For Empress Isabella?

Posted on May 19, 2019 by Margaret

I started thinking halfway through this series that the mysterious cat in Laura Keene’s shop might like to have a “friend.” You need to keep an eye out for the friend to show up in Vol. 5 of the Second Treasures Mysteries, Deadly Cost of Goods. You’ve already met the puppy named Peeks, who likes to “peek” around corners to see what’s going on before he jumps back into hiding and belongs to Will Kovacs, the baker extraordinaire. Watch what happens when Will decides to bring Peeks with him into Laura’s shop.

The Story Behind The Second Treasures Mysteries

Posted on May 18, 2019 by Margaret

The Second Treasures Mysteries and Raging Ford, Minnesota, are based on my mother’s home town of Hibbing, located on the very edge of the Mesabi Range. Hibbing boomed during the iron ore hey-days. The marble bathrooms and indoor swimming pool in the public high school, as well as the historic mural in the library, that you’ve read about in these mysteries, all exist. At one point, for safety, they had to move some stores and homes in the town (brick by brick, beam by beam) to a location farther away from the mine when they needed to blast for more iron ore. The Hull-Rust-Mahoning mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world and is still operational today, providing taconite which can be processed into iron pellets. The town currently sits where it was moved, but you can still see some of the front steps of homes and shops where the old town used to be. My grandfather and his two brothers jointly owned the Kohrt Brothers Meat Market, a shop that had to be moved, but it closed in the crash of 1929. The original cemetery is intact, and one of my uncles who died in infancy (Franklin Kohrt) is buried there. A lot of family love is poured into these stories, and I hope you enjoy the entire six-book series and the little touch of Minnesota in your lives.


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