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Unsolved 1960s murder inspires new novel

UPublish story by Mary Russell

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Front Cover

Press Release

Unsolved 1960s murder inspires new novel from author Russell

Mary Russell draws from five years of research to create a fast-paced murder mystery in ‘Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows’

WADSWORTH, Ohio – All it takes is one seeker to doggedly pursue and ultimately uncover the truth. Author Mary Russell understands what it takes to be a truth seeker. She spent five years digging, sorting and researching “Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows” (ISBN 1499262964), a fictional murder mystery inspired by an unsolved homicide from the 1960s.

Russell brings to life a relentless seeker in her new novel. Lee Perkins, a 20-year veteran researcher and book editor, becomes consumed by letters he receives from an old friend. The letters, filled with sordid details of a long-forgotten murder, spark Perkins to dig in and investigate the cold case of Bert Grayson. Never one to turn down a drink or back away from a fight, he turned up dead in a dark alley with his throat slit. When the trail to his killer went cold, the police gave up and left the case unsolved.

Lillian Grace, a woman with her own secrets, had loved Bert. Lillian’s rambling letters, written after his murder, are the only link 50 years later to what really happened in that alley the night Bert was killed. Russell effortlessly weaves her readers back and forth between present day and the startling events of 1962, creating a tapestry of intrigue, suspense and thrills.

“My novel reveals the corruption that often goes unnoticed in small towns in the United States secluded from the outside world. The story is driven by the information presented in Lillian's letters,” explains Russell.

“Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows” is available for sale online at and at Barnes and Nobles.

About the Author:

Mary Russell spent five years researching her novel “Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows.” Her unique research methods allowed her to uncover information that might have ordinarily escaped scrutiny. A member of the organization Crested Butte Writers, of Crested Butte, Colorado, Russell has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Akron in Ohio. She has been married to her husband Larry for 46 years. Together they have two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Mary Russell




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