Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Coffeetown Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 0.8 X 7.9 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

John Vanek is a physician by training, but a writer by passion. While practicing medicine for a quarter century, his interest in writing never waned. Medicine is his life, but mysteries are his drug of choice. He began honing his craft by attending creative writing workshops and college courses. At first writing solely for himself and his family, he was surprised and gratified when his work won contests and was published in a variety of literary journals, anthologies, and magazines. He now lives happily as an ink-stained-wretch in Florida, where he teaches a poetry workshop for seniors and enjoys swimming, hiking, sunshine, good friends, and red wine.


"John Vanek brings small-town Oberlin, Ohio, to life. Locals will recognize familiar people, places, and threads of Oberlin history woven throughout the story as Father Jake Austin reconnects with his past and gets caught in a web of deadly vendettas."

--Liz Schultz, Executive Director of the Oberlin Heritage Center

"Interesting, nuanced characters in a finely wrought setting."

--Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Wilde Lake and the award-winning Tess Monaghan series

"Fr. Jake Austin, the hero of Vanek's promising debut and series launch, returns to his hometown of Oberlin, Ohio, in 2002 to take up a temporary post at a Catholic hospital in nearby Lorain--an assignment that coincides with his high school class's 30th reunion. [....] Full of conflicting emotions, Jake has a lot to cope with in a mystery that's as much a character study as a whodunit. The title is an acronym for Date of Expected Return from Overseas--the relevance of which isn't immediately obvious. Readers will look forward to seeing more of Jake."

--Publishers Weekly

"John Vanek guides the reader through the seldom-seen worlds of both medicine and the priesthood. His years as a physician at a Catholic hospital make him the perfect creator of this literary mystery set in a small college town, but few physicians can manage prose as well as Vanek does."

--Sterling Watson, author of Suitcase City and Fighting in the Shade

"A riveting tale of mystery and murder. Superb storytelling with a deft touch by this talented author who keeps ratcheting up the tension until the explosive ending. A fast read, but the characters linger in your memory."

--Ann O'Farrell, author of the Norah's Children Trilogy

"This intense debut introduces a complex narrator, an introspective Vietnam vet who still struggles three decades later with his anger and losses stemming from the war. Vanek's bittersweet novel will appeal to admirers of Julia Spencer-Fleming's clerical mysteries."

--Lesa Holstine for Library Journal