Going Home is a traditional murder mystery of sorts; it has a body on the first page, a reluctant amateur sleuth with a stake in proving the cops got it wrong and solving the murder on her own, and the killer is revealed at the end, after the protagonist puts her life in danger.
What makes Going Home different is that it was inspired by my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve been amazed at how many readers tell me they’ve lost a friend or family member to Alzheimer’s, and they could really relate to my portrayal of the heroine’s mother.
The story opens when Michelle DePalma comes home to check on her elderly mother, Lola Hanson, who has begun to exhibit signs of dementia and lives with round-the-clock caregivers. Michelle finds Lola standing over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver. No one else is around. Lola can’t remember what happened.
The cops who investigate the murder are Michelle’s old enemies from grade school, and they immediately suspect Lola. Michelle, who never even raised children, is forced into a caregiver role for a mother with whom she never got along, and she’s stuck in the hometown she left as soon as she was able, dealing with people she thought she’d never see again and unresolved situations from her past, while she tries to prove her mother’s innocence.
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Although I’ve written fiction all my life, Going Home (Sunbury Press, 2014) is my first published novel. I’ve also written travel articles, corporate training manuals, book reviews, and a personal finance ebook, Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy. I earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and am an active member of Sisters in Crime, where I contributed a short story to the Atlanta chapter’s anthology, Mystery, Atlanta Style. I grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. I studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship before moving to Los Angeles, and then later, Seattle. Now I live in Peachtree City, Georgia, with my husband and cat. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, I do volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and write a personal finance blog, Countdown to Financial Fitness.