It’s Rita Horn’s tender heart that gets her into trouble in “Shadow Point Deputy,” a suspenseful romance by Canton native Julie Anne Lindsey.

Rita works in the Cade County treasurer’s office, on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Some nights when she gets off work, she heads down to the waterfront and feeds the feral cats that congregate around the abandoned warehouses. One night, Rita finds a cat covered in blood, and tries to catch it so she can take it to a vet. Instead, she finds an expensive pen and a puddle of blood far too large to have come from a cat.

Before Rita can dial 911, she sees two men in the shadows, one in what appears to be a sheriff’s uniform. She flees before the men can catch her, and the next morning when she arrives at work, she learns that a sheriff’s deputy had been in to see her. Panicking, she pretends to be sick and goes home, to find that her house has been trashed and the same deputy is there. Handsome Cole Garrett is simultaneously drawn to Rita and outraged that someone ransacked her home.

Rita is reluctant to tell Cole about the pen she had found, but when she hears that a body has been pulled from the river, she knows it might be important evidence — so important that it almost gets her killed, as well as her younger brother and Cole, who becomes very protective of Rita.

“Shadow Point Deputy” (249 pages, softcover) costs $5.75 from Harlequin Intrigue. Julie Anne Lindsey is an alumna of Kent State University and, as Julie Chase, is the author of the whimsical New Orleans-set Kitty Couture mysteries.

'Outrage in Ohio'

There are cold cases, and then there are cold cases. Stow native David Kimmel says he “inherited” the murder of Mary Secaur from his father, who had been researching his genealogy until his death in 1997.

In “Outrage in Ohio: A Rural Murder, Lynching, and Mystery,” Kimmel tells of the 1872 rape and horrifying murder of Mary, a 13-year-old girl who lived near Van Wert in Mercer County. One Sunday, she did not return home from church, and a group of searchers found her body the next day. She had been decapitated and her body had been ravaged by wild hogs.

Suspicion fell upon a couple of peddlers and three sons of farmer Henry Kimmel, great-great-great-grandfather of the author. Witnesses recalled the suspects watering the horses at the Kimmel farm; could they have been washing blood from their clothes? One of the Kimmel sons, Absalom, was intellectually disabled.

Two of the suspects testified against the other three, earning their freedom, but the three remaining were taken out in an open field and had nooses put around their necks. At the last minute, a plea from Mary Secaur’s brother spared the life of one of them, but the other two were hanged. The third was returned to jail.

With confessions given, recanted and reissued, punishment without due process and the passage of time, there is much that will never be known about the case of Mary Secaur. Kimmel uses intensive research and constructed conversations to produce his look at this crime.

“Outrage in Ohio” (230 pages, softcover) costs $24 from Indiana University Press. David Kimmel is an English professor at Heidelberg College in Tiffin.

Footnotes

• “Wicked Women of Ohio” by Jane Ann Turzillo has been nominated for an Agatha Award in the nonfiction category. Turzillo was nominated in the same category in 2015 for “Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio.” The winners will be announced in May.

• Cleveland native Celeste Ng has been nominated for a Shorty Award for social media content in the literature category. The winners will be announced in May.

Events

B’nai Jeshurun (27501 Fairmont Blvd., Pepper Pike): In a continuation of the Cleveland Jewish Book Festival, French Catholic priest Patrick Desbois discusses his book “In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets,” about his mission to identify Holocaust victims in unmarked graves in the former USSR, 7 p.m. Monday. Free, but registration is required; visit mandeljcc.org or call 216-593-6216.

Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Road, Stow): Sports columnist Terry Pluto talks about his books, including “The Browns Blues: Two Decades of Utter Frustration: Why Everything Kept Going Wrong for the Cleveland Browns,” 7 p.m. Tuesday. Register at smfpl.org or call 330-688-3295.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.): Laura DeMarco presents her pictorial history “Cleveland Then and Now,” 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Register at 216-831-6868.

Market Garden Brewery (1947 W. 25th St., Cleveland): Jill Bialosky reads from her memoir “Poetry Will Save Your Life,” and D. Gilson, whose next book is “Incarnate: Notes from an Evangelical Boyhood,” 7 p.m. Tuesday as part of the Brews + Prose series.

Geauga County Public Library (Chardon branch, 110 E. Park St.): Nancy Christie, author of “Traveling Left of Center,” talks about “Making Money with Words,” 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Canton Palace Theatre (605 Market Ave. N.): Cameroon native Imbolo Mbue joins the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series, discussing “Behold the Dreamers,” winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The book is about a Cameroonian immigrant couple who try to better themselves, but their success is threatened by a financial crisis. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday; free, but reservations are required. Visit events.starklibrary.org or call 330-452-0665.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma Heights branch, 6206 Pearl Road): Laura DeMarco talks about “Cleveland Then and Now, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Register at 440-884-2313.

Suburban Temple Kol Ami (22401 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood): Jenna Blum talks about her novel “The Lost Family,” about an Auschwitz survivor who cannot overcome the loss of his wife and daughters after a successful career and a second marriage, 7 p.m. Thursday. Free, but registration is required; visit mandeljcc.org or call 216-593-6216.

Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.): Victoria Johnson talks about “American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic,” about Alexander Hamilton’s and Aaron Burr’s personal physician, 7 p.m. Thursday. Register at 330-653-2252.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Independence branch, 6361 Selig Blvd.): Mark Dawidziak, author of “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone,” presents “TV Shows That Changed the World,” part of a three-part series, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Register at 216-447-0160.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch, 1876 S. Green Road, South Euclid): Seats may remain to see Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, who will discuss “In a House of Lies,” 22nd in his series about Inspector Rebus, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Call 216-382-4880.

Visible Voice Books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): Photographer Jeffrey Stroup launches “Abandoned Cleveland,” a pictorial of vacant and decaying buildings, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Jason Prufer talks about “Small Town, Big Music: The Outsized Influence of Kent, Ohio, on the History of Rock and Roll,” 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Sandra Bolzenius discusses “Glory in Their Spirit: How Four Black Women Took On the Army During World War II,” about the 1945 strike by black members of the Women’s Army Corps for better opportunities and working conditions, 7 p.m. Saturday.

 

Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or lsherwin@thebeaconjournal.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.