Authors Showcase: Danger by Design by Helen Macie Osterman
October 24, 2014
The Author: Helen Macie Osterman
The Story: Net Petrone has recently moved into a townhouse in a retirement community.
The previous owner, as well as other wealthy widows, joined a fraudulent society supposedly for the preservation of the environment. They are coerced by charismatic Brother Rupert into signing all their life savings over to the society. Shortly after, many of them die of ‘natural causes’.
The reader will follow this superstitious Italian woman as she attempts to expose the society and becomes involved in danger, mystery, and murder.
About Helen Osterman:
Helen Osterman lives in Homer Glen, a suburb of Chicago. She has five children and nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
She received a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Mercy Hospital-St. Xavier College and later earned a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University. Throughout her forty-five year nursing career, she wrote articles for both nursing and medical journals.
She is the author of the Emma Winberry Mystery Series:
The Accidental Sleuth, 2007, The Stranger in the Opera House,2009, The Elusive Relation,2011 Emma Winberry and the Evil Eye, 2012. Locked Within, 1213
Notes in a Mirror, a paranormal/historical, 2009.
Song of the Rails, a love story, 2011.
Maker’s Mark, a cozy mystery. 2012
Danger by Design, a Net Petrone Mystery.
Helen is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and The Authors’ Guild.
Review by Harriet Klausner: The Watkins brothers are concerned with the health of their elderly mom. She calls her son George while he is on business in New York to tell him she changed her will back to bequeath all to her family and that she fears someone is watching her. Used to her recent erratic behavior, he waits until he gets home, but before he does she dies from a heart attack.
Filled with guilt, George visits the new owner of his mom’s gated retirement community home, widow Antoinette Petrone who is recovering from knee surgery. He mentions the missing will; if not found soon the Society for Fifth Beneficence inherits one million dollars rather than the family who need the funds to help care for George’s disa
bled nephew. Net and her BFF Ruth Borden search the house for the lost will, but fail to find it. They take a genealogy class taught by Professor Marcus and soon after receive an invitation to attend a Society for Fifth Beneficence lecture provided by Brother Rupert, which Net goes to alone. Feeling compelled to find the missing will; Net fears a sinister scheme targeting the elderly who name the Society for Fifth Beneficence as benefactor of their estates; while someone breaks into her home she assumes searching for the will.
Danger by Design is an entertaining leisurely-paced cozy starring a likable, obstinate hobbling heroine and a strong support cast that run the gamut from the good (family and friends), the maybe bad (Marcus) and the ugly (Rupert). Although Net’s loving crew and George are too kind; readers will enjoy the caring geriatric amateur sleuth reluctantly investigating a deadly scam.