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Kept In Suspense

native writer publishes romantic mystery novel

Luke Hoppe |

New Years Eve is a night to let go of the old and begin something new and fresh … or at least that is what western Wisconsin native (and UW-Eau Claire alumna) Ellen Parker wants you to believe in her new novel Starr Tree Farm.

The book, which was published by Crimson Romance earlier this year, opens with glasses clinking as the clock has just struck midnight on New Year’s. The main character, Laura Tanner, has just moved back to her hometown of Crystal Springs, Wis. (a town modeled after Parker’s hometown), one year after her husband’s murder.

That very night she ends up meeting a childhood acquaintance, Brad Asher, who is working for her uncle as a private investigator looking into her husband’s murder.
Parker doesn’t hold anything back from her audience, giving you insight into what both Brad and Laura are thinking, but she is also able to hold you in suspense with her mastery of words and allusion.

As Parker progresses the story, events begin escalating as more and more information is revealed about Laura’s past and her life in St. Louis.

Parker also does a masterful job at integrating both Brad and Laura’s story; each character complementing the other and answering questions about one another that normally aren’t revealed in a single character’s storyline. Instead of leaving you in the dark about much of the story Parker is able to use the relationship between the characters to fill in the void normally left in suspense novels, which gives this novel a very unique perspective.

This is a book that you’ll find hard to put down and will be a perfect quick read for anyone – with plenty of suspense and romance to keep you going from cover to cover.

You can pick up a copy of Starr Tree Farm at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., or online on Be sure to check out more information about Ellen Parker on her Facebook page or at